What We Learned From France’s Three Economic Crises

Human beings are really stubborn creatures.

You’d think we’d learn from past mistakes, and realize that paper currency has led to the collapse of almost EVERY economy that’s tried to use a fiat currency to trade goods and services.

Let’s use France as an example. France is probably the only country that’s faced economic collapse a staggering THREE times.

Three Times Frances Experienced an Economic Crisis

france's three economc crises

King Louis XIV left a debt of 3 billion livres for his successor Louis XV. Desperately needing incoming tax payments, Louis XV insisted these be paid in paper currency. As it always happens, they overprinted this paper currency, rendering it worthless.

Come the 18th century, France tried the paper currency route yet again with assignats. By the end of the century, assignants had been ravaged by a 13,000% inflation.

Napoleon tried to rectify this issue by implementing the gold franc, stabilizing the volatile currency. You’d think that people would have seen the pros of a gold-backed currency, but alas.

By the 1930s, France had reverted to a paper currency, the paper franc. Within a decade, this currency dropped in value by 99%, deeming France’s third attempt at printing francs a major failure.

In recent years, France has had to bail out several of its ailing banks, and the country’s economy is still struggling with a high unemployment rate, a large public debt, and stifling regulations.

It goes to show that even the most powerful economies are not safe from the dangers of paper currency. France is a prime example of what can happen when a country tries to rely on paper currency, and it’s a lesson that we should all learn from.

What Did We Learn From France’s Economic Crises?

Although France’s three economic crises story is quite disastrous, we can take away the fact that gold has always been a financial safe haven of sorts, and even Napoleon can back this up.

Gold is a timeless currency, and has always been France’s go-to in times of economic hardship. This is unlike fiat currencies, which can sometimes fail in times of crisis.

france's three economc crises

It is clear that investing in precious metals like gold, and even silver, is a surefire way to protect yourself from the perils an unstable economy can bring. France’s story is a cautionary tale, but it’s one that we can all learn from.

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