A four year period in the history of money, credit and banking in France and the United States might ordinarily be covered satisfactorily in a slender essay, easily written in a short time. Almost every week of the war period, however, has brought events of the first magnitude in both countries. A definitive history of money, credit and banking during this period must be the work of several years. There is not merely the problem of reading and digesting an immense mass of materials, but there is also the certainty that many episodes, carefully disguised for political and military reasons, can not be justly evaluated until a later time. The writer trusts that other students will bear these difficulties in mind in passing judgment on the book. Errors it must contain, both in statements of fact and in interpretations.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge various obligations to others. Mr. Harvey E. Fisk of the Bankers Trust Company of New York kindly supplied several of the charts, as did Dr. M. Jacobson, statistician of the Federal Reserve Board. Both gentlemen have given advice and information. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Service Department of the National Bank of Commerce in New York, the New York Times Annalist, the library of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at Washington and other organizations have been very generous. The author is indebted for many ideas to his colleagues of the Committee of the American Economic Association on the Purchasing Power of Money with Reference to the War, Professors Irving Fisher, W. C. Mitchell, E. W. Kemmerer and W. M. Persons and Dr. Royal Meeker. Mr. Basil P. Blackett, financial representative of the British Government, has given information and advice, as have Professors O. M. W. Sprague'and H. P. Willis. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to say that the writer alone is responsible for the views here expressed.
B. M. Anderson, Jr.