ike opinion, this is not much bet▓ter than

stealing. [Pg 125] Very unbusi▓ness-like, indeed, my friend.▓ The banking world needs no Nietzs▓che to stand on the other side of

good and ev●il.Ethics, like religion, is only for the mas●ses.Just calculate what a commissi▓on of three to six per cent.means on a l●oan of five hundred to a thousan●d million rubles that we shal▓l surely need in this war.Let ▓us say only three per cent., o


fficiall

y.T●hat means thirty millions—nge than six●ty million marks.Do you then think that ▓the banks belong to the Salvation Army●, to imagine that they should ren●ounce such a transaction Slowly, slowly.Y▓ou said at first that Russia will need in this● war about a milliard rubles.That w▓ould be contrary to what I have heard ●from other very reliable sources—na▓mely, that the cash reserve is suppose▓dly equal to abou

t a mill

iard rubles. ▓I will bet you that in three mo●nths we shall not have left a single kopek of t▓his milliard, assuming that it ex▓ists.In agreement with military▓ experts, who, between ourselves, are not at a●ll optimistic, I estimate the du●ration of this war at twelve to eighteen▓ months at least.With our management, every ●mont

h costs us

at least a hundred million rubles▓.Thus you see that a milliard will no▓t be sufficient. Well, let ▓us say that the banks cannot reject the bus▓iness, still they must, in th▓e first place, dispose of the securities, wh▓ich will not be so easy, sinc▓e the French are thoroughly ●satiated with the bonds,[Pg 126] a▓nd, as the fall in the rate of excha▓

ntly shown,

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  • confidence in these▓ bonds is no longer any too great. T▓he

    y may drop still further, said the banker, sm▓iling.The fall in the rate of exchange woul●d have been still

  • worse had not our ban▓ks received a strict order not to ▓turn over the

    deposited bonds to t●heir owners during these days of c▓onvulsion. How I do not understand this.● The i

  • ssue of the deposited securities ▓to their owners is delayed Yes,▓

    my friend, that is being done.You again do me ●the honor to forget in my office that● we are in Russia.Even



worse things a▓re done here.At the order of the mi●nister

of finance, the owners o

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f the bonds w●ho wish to withdr

aw their deposits are given ●only a few hun

dreds or thousands of rubles ▓for the m

ost pressing needs,● but they do not get their bond▓s.This is in order to prevent, by all means, t●he bonds being thrown on the marke▓t and thus increasing the panic. ▓ But that can be done only here.You have no s▓uch power abroad. Well, the f▓irst alarm

did cost a respectab●le sum.Then the foreign bondholde▓rs


came to the rescue and in●tervened for

their own interest.The price o▓f the bonds was maintained, ▓especially in Germany. Why part●icularly in Germany Because it fluctu●ates less in France.There it is in the ha●nds of small investors who do not run ●to the treasury at the first opportuni▓ty

.It is not as[Pg 127] strong●ly intrenched in Germany, and mu

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