History is For Losers. Or Cranks. Or Something.

REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

XERXES: Brought peace.

REG: Oh. Peace? Shut up!

- Monty Python’s Life of  Brian

Paul Krugman making the case for currency devaluation. All that’s missing is the classic Monty Python quote above.

Menzie Chinn goes after Paul Ryan’s challenge: “Name me a nation in history that has prospered by devaluing its currency.” But why go back to the 1930s?

How about:

-Britain, which recovered strongly from its early 90s doldrums after it devalued the pound against the mark in 1992. (At the time, some wags suggested putting a statue of George Soros in Trafalgar Square.)

- Sweden, which recovered from its early 90s banking crisis with an export boom, driven by a devalued kronor.

- South Korea, which roared back from the 1997-1998 crisis with an export boom, driven by a depreciated won.

- Argentina, which roared back from its 2002 crisis with an export boom, driven by a depreciated peso.


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