The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
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Volume 11 No. 5 • September 2008

The Logic of Business in a Heavily Regulated Economy, Then and Now

A better way of understanding the behavior of business in that era is to think of the consequences of the regime’s actions in destroying essential mechanisms of the market economy: prices (controlled by price restraints), interest rates or the price of money (which were capped), and dividends (which were limited). Profits in themselves made no sense, but capturing the political process that then increasingly shaped economic outcomes rather certainly did. Instead of competing in a market for market share, businesses competed for influence in a political market that functioned on its own terms and logic.

— Harold James, The Deutsche Bank and the
Nazi Economic War Against the Jews

Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 213-214

With the exception of the racially motivated attack on Jewish possessions, the fundamental principle of private ownership was left untouched. The laws defining what ownership involved, people’s “property rights,” however, were utterly transformed. Germany remained a private economy, but without the guidance of those signals usually associated with the operation of a market: freely determined (not administered) prices, interest rates, or exchange quotations. It was an economy without a market mechanism, which was supposed to behave as its new masters wished. Prices are essential to the market. Their suppression and distortion leads to a command economy.

— Harold James, op. cit., pp. 32-33

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