This chapter is one of the more underwritten of this section; in his introduction to the volume, Engels comments thus on the difficulties he had in reconstructing this part of the book:
There [...] followed, in the manuscript, a long section headed ‘The Confusion’, consisting simply of extracts from the parliamentary reports on the crises of 1848 and 1857, in which the statements of some twenty-three businessmen and economic writers, particularly on the subjects of money and capital, the drain of gold, over-speculation, etc., were collected, with the occasional addition of brief humorous comments. Here, in one way or another, more or less all views then current on the relationship between money and capital were represented, and Marx intended to deal in a critical and satirical manner with the ensuing ‘confusion’ about what was money on the money market and what was capital. After several attempts, I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to produce this chapter; the material in question has been put in where the context provided the opportunity, especially the material with Marx’s own comments.
This chapter is evidently composed principally of material from ‘The Confusion’.
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Given that Marx will direct a good part of his attention to the 1844 Bank Act (which granted to the Bank of England the sole right to print new banknotes, and set limits, in function of bullion held and state debt, to the quantity of banknotes allowed to circulate) it will be of use to reproduce here comments made by Marx on the Act and the circumstances of its appearance made elsewhere.
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