THE MEDIEVAL ORIGINS OF MODERN BANKING: PROFESSOR RAYMOND DE ROOVER BOOKS

March 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, World-system | Leave a comment

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The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank: 1397-1494

by Raymond De Roover (Author)

Money, Banking And Credit In Medieval Bruges – Italian

Merchant Bankers, Lombards And Money Changers

– A Study In The Origins Of Banking

by Raymond De Roover (Author)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

MONEY, BANKING AND CREDIT IN MEDIEVAL BRUGES:

Italian Merchant-Bankers Lombards and Money-

Changers – A Study in the Origins of Banking

by RAYMOND DE ROOVER

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 464 pages

  • Publisher: Rinsland Press

  • November 4, 2008

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1443726095

  • ISBN-13: 978-1443

by Raymond A. de Roover (Author)

    Money, Banking And Credit In Medieval Bruges –

    Italian Merchant Bankers, Lombards And Money

    Changers – A Study In The Origins Of Banking

    by Raymond De Roover (Author)

    plus:

    The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank: 1397-1494

    by Raymond A. de Roover (Author)

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GERMAN BANKS: BUNDESBANK DISCUSSION PAPER

March 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Germany, Globalization, Research | Leave a comment

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Bundesbank Research Centre

Bundesbank Discussion Paper

Newsletter Forschungszentrum Bundesbank

(vo5555@newsletter.bundesbank.de)

Fri 3/06/09

Dear customer,

The Bundesbank Research Centre has released a new Discussion Paper (No 03/2009 Series 2).

Author/s:

Elisabetta Fiorentino
Alessio De Vincenzo
Frank Heid
Alexander Karmann
Michael Koetter

Title:

The effects of privatization and consolidation on bank productivity: comparative evidence from Italy and Germany

Abstract:

The Italian and German banking systems shared similar characteristics early in the 1990s but have evolved in different directions since then: Italy privatized its publicly-owned banks while Germany has maintained a large share of state-owned savings banks. Contemporaneously, banks in both markets engaged heavily in mergers and acquisitions. We analyze how these activities have affected banks’ productivity in the period 1994-2004, differentiating between technical change, efficiency change and scale economies. We find that privatized banks experienced a significant increase in productivity, especially if they subsequently merged with other banks. German banks were still able to increase their productivity through consolidation.

http://vo5555.newsletter.bundesbank.de/servlet/rd?l=Diskussionspapiere-JOKA-PJN1-M7DJ-ONL3-NWSL73

Bundesbank Research Centre

Bundesbank Discussion Paper

Newsletter Forschungszentrum Bundesbank

(vo5555@newsletter.bundesbank.de)

Fri 3/06/09

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS BIS REVIEW NO. 25: CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION PLUS ISLAMIC FINANCE

March 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Islam, Research | Leave a comment

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BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 25 available‏

Press, Service (Press.Service@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Fri 3/06/09

Please find BIS Review No 25 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review on the Bank for International Settlements’ website by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm.

What’s included?

BIS Review No 25 (6 March 2009)

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Islamic finance developments in Malaysia

Amando M Tetangco, Jr: The crisis in perspective – is there really cause for alarm?

Marion Williams: Going back to basics – building strategic alliances toward improved governance and productivity

Svante Öberg: The current economic situation

Hezron O Nyangito: Impact of the global financial crisis on the Kenyan banking system

please e-mail press.service@bis.org.

BIS Review

Bank for International Settlements

BIS Review No 25 available‏

Press, Service (Press.Service@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

Fri 3/06/09

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“EVERY MAN DIES ALONE”: HANS FALLADA AND HIS GERMAN NOVELS

March 6, 2009 at 5:29 am | Posted in Books, Germany, History, Literary | Leave a comment

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Little Man, What Now?

by Hans Fallada (Author)

Susan Bennett (Translator)

Every Man Dies Alone

by Hans Fallada (Author)

Hans Fallada

(21 July 1893 – 5 February 1947)

Michael Hofmann (Translator)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis.”
–Primo Levi

Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone is one of the most extraordinary and compelling novels ever written about World War II. Ever. Fallada lived through the Nazi hell, so every word rings true–this is who they really were: the Gestapo monsters, the petty informers, the few who dared to resist. Please, do not miss this.”
–Alan Furst

“Grim, powerful epic portrait of life in Gemany under Nazi rule, published shortly after the author’s death in 1947 but never before available in English.

Fallada was a bestselling novelist before the rise of the Third Reich, but during World War II he was hounded by the Gestapo and psychologically brutalized by Joseph Goebbels, who unsuccessfully tried to force him to write an anti-Semitic book. Sinking into alcohol and drug addiction, he was a broken man by the end of his life, and his final novel is shot through with his despair. Written in a 24-day rush, it was inspired by the real-life case of a working-class husband and wife who conducted a covert three-year propoganda campaign against the Nazi regime.

Fallada’s fictionalized version centers on Otto and Anna Quangel, who are driven to protest after learning that their only son has died fighting at the front. The protest is small and timid: Otto writes anti-Hitler messages on postcards that he distributes around Berlin, and the Quangels are never certain if they influence any hearts or minds. Nonetheless, they provoke the Gestapo. Fallada reveals a deep understanding of the agency’s chain of command, its grisly abuses of power and the culture of fear it cultivated among German citizens. His hefty novel includes a host of characters, from hard-drinking reprobates and factory workers to judges and, in a poignant early passage, an elderly Jewish woman in the Quangel’s apartment building who lives in a perpetual state of terror. Most of these people are archetypal to a fault: Otto Quangel rarely strays from a stance of of stoic nobility, and the drunken, proud bloviations of Gestapo brass occasionally border on the absurd. The characters’ fates are clearly telegraphed, yet Fallada keeps readers engaged with passionate prose that rushes events along at a thriller-like pace. And there’s stark grandeur in the closing chapters, featuring a Nazi trial, an execution and death in prison.

A very welcome resurrection for a great writer crucified by history.”

–KIRKUS

“A signal literary event of 2009 has occurred. Rescued from the grave, from decades of forgetting, [Every Man Dies Alone] testifies to the lasting value of an intact, if battered, conscience. In a publishing hat trick, Melville House allows English-language readers to sample Fallada’s vertiginous variety [and] the keen vision of a troubled man in troubled times, with more breadth, detail, and understanding than most other chroniclers of the era have delivered. To read Every Man Dies Alone, Fallada’s testament to the darkest years of the 20th century, is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your arm and whispers in your ear: ‘This is how it was. This is what happened.'”

— New York Times Book Review

Product Description

“The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis.”- Primo Levi

This never-before-translated masterpiece-by a heroic best-selling writer who saw his life crumble when he wouldn’t join the Nazi Party-is based on a true story.

It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, they launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, it’s more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order-it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and each other.

Hans Fallada was one of Germany’s best-selling authors-ranking with Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse-prior to the rise of the Nazis. But while those writers fled Germany, Fallada stayed. Refusing to join the Nazi Party, he suffered numerous difficulties, including incarceration in an insane asylum. After the war, he wrote Every Man Dies Alone based on an actual Gestapo file. He died just before its publication in 1947.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 450 pages

  • Publisher: Melville House

  • March 3, 2009

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1933633638

  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633633

Hans Fallada

Hans Fallada (21 July 1893 – 5 February 1947), born Rudolf Wilhelm Adolf Ditzen in Greifswald, was one of the most famous German writers of the 20th century. His novel, Little Man, What Now? is his most widely known work and generally considered a classic of German 20th century literature. Fallada’s pseudoynm derives from a combination of characters found in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales: The protagonist of Hans in Luck (KHM 83) and a horse named Falada in The Goose Girl.

Biography

Hans Fallada was the child of a magistrate on his way to becoming a supreme court judge and a mother from a middle-class background, both of whom shared an enthusiasm for music and to a lesser extent, literature. Jenny Williams notes in her biography More Lives than One (1998), that Fallada’s father would often read aloud to his children works authors including Shakespeare and Schiller.[1]

In 1899 at the age of 6, Fallada’s father relocated the family to Berlin following the first of several promotions he would receive. Fallada had a very difficult time upon first entering school in 1901. As a result, he immersed himself in books, eschewing literature more in line with his age for authors including Flaubert, Dostoevsky, and Dickens. In 1909 the family again relocated to Leipzig following his father’s appointment to the Imperial Supreme Court.

A severe road accident in 1909 (age 16) – he was run over by a horse-drawn cart, then kicked in the face by the horse – and the contraction of typhoid in 1910 (age 17) seem to mark a turning point in Fallada’s life and the end of his relatively care-free youth. His adolescent years were characterized by increasing isolation and self-doubt, compounded by the lingering effects of these health ailments. There is, as well, that his life-long drug problems were born of the pain-killing medications he was taking as the result of his injuries. These issues manifested themselves in multiple suicide attempts. In 1911 he made a pact with his close friend, Hanns Dietrich, to stage a duel to mask their suicides, feeling that the duel would be seen as more honorable. Because of both boys’ inexperience with weapons, it was a bungled affair. Dietrich missed Fallada, but Fallada did not miss Dietrich, killing him. Fallada was so distraught that he picked up Dietrich’s gun and shot himself in the chest, but miraculously survived. Nonetheless, the death of his friend ensured his status as an outcast from society. Although he was found innocent of murder by way of insanity, from this point on he would serve multiple stints in mental institutions. At one of these institutions, he was assigned to work in a farmyard, thus beginning his lifelong affinity for farm culture.

While in a sanatorium Fallada took to translation and poetry, albeit unsuccessfully, before finally breaking ground as a novelist in 1920 with the publication of his first book Der junge Goedeschal (“Young Goedeschal”). During this period he also struggled with morphine addiction, and the death of his younger brother in the First World War.

In the wake of the war, Fallada worked several farmhand and other agricultural jobs in order to support himself and finance his growing drug addiction. While before the war Fallada relied on his father for financial support while writing, after the German defeat he was no longer able, nor willing, to depend on his father’s assistance. Shortly after the publication of Anton und Gerda Fallada reported to prison in Greifswald to serve a 6-month sentence for stealing grain from his employer and selling it to support his drug habit. Less than 3 years later in 1926 Fallada again found himself imprisoned as a result of a drug and alcohol-fueled string of thefts from employers. In February 1928 he finally emerged free of addiction.

Fallada married Suse Issel in 1929 and maintained a string of respectable jobs in journalism, working for newspapers and eventually for the publisher of his novels, Rowohlt. It is around this time that his novels became noticeably political and started to comment on the social and economic woes of Germany. Williams notes that Fallada’s 1930/31 novel Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben (“Peasants, Bosses and Bombs”) “..established [him] as a promising literary talent as well as an author not afraid to tackle controversial issues” [2] Martin Seymour-Smith said it is one of his best novels, “it remains one of the most vivid and sympathetic accounts of a local revolt ever written.”[3]

The great success of Kleiner Mann – was nun? (Little Man, What Now?) in 1932, while immediately easing his financial straits, was overshadowed by his anxiety over the rise of Nazism and a subsequent nervous breakdown. Although none of his work was deemed subversive enough to warrant action by the Nazis, many of his peers were arrested and interned and his future as an author under the Nazi regime looked bleak. These anxieties were compounded by the loss of a baby only a few hours after childbirth. However he was heartened by the great success of Little Man, What Now? in Great Britain and the United States, where the book was a bestseller. In the U.S., it was selected by the Book of the Month Club, and was even made into a Hollywood movie, Little Man, What Now? (1934).

Because the film was made by Jewish producers, however, it earned Fallada closer attention by the rising Nazi Party. Meanwhile, as the careers, and in some cases the lives, of many of Fallada’s contemporaries were rapidly drawing to a halt, he began to draw some additional scrutiny from the government in the form of denunciations of his work by Nazi authors and publications, who also noted that he had not joined the Party. On Easter Sunday, 1933, he was jailed by the Gestapo for “anti-Nazi activities” after one such denunciation, but despite a ransacking of his home no evidence was found and he was released a week later.

Although his 1934 novel, Wir hatten mal ein Kind (Once We Had a Child) met with initially positive reviews, the official Nazi publication, Volkischer Beobachter disapproved. In the same year, the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda “recommended the removal of Little Man, What Now? from all public libraries”.[4] Meanwhile, the official campaign against Fallada was beginning to take a toll on the sales of his books, landing him in financial straits that precipitated another nervous breakdown in 1934.

In September 1935 Fallada was officially declared an “undesirable author”, a designation which banned his work from being translated and published abroad. Although this order was repealed a few months later, it was as this point that his writing shifted from an artistic endeavor to merely a much needed source of income, writing “children’s stories and harmless fairy tales” that would also conveniently avoid the unwanted attention of the Nazis. During this time the prospect of emigration held a constant place in Fallada’s mind, although he was reluctant because of his love of Germany.

In 1937 the publication and success of Wolf unter Wölfen (Wolf Among Wolves) marked Fallada’s temporary return to his serious, realistic style. The Nazis read the book as a sharp criticism of the Weimar Republic, and thus naturally approved. Notably, Joseph Goebbels called it “a super book”.[5] Goebbels interest in Fallada’s work would lead the writer to a world of worry: he would subsequently suggest the writer compose an anti-Semitic tract, and his praise indirectly resulted in Fallada’s commission to write a novel that would be the basis for a state-sponsored film charting the life of a German family until 1933.

The book, Der eiserne Gustav (Iron Gustav), would be a brilliant look at the deprivations and hardships brought on by World War I, but upon reviewing the manuscript Goebbels would suggest that Fallada stretch the time-line of the story to include the rise of the Nazis and their depiction as solving the problems of the War and Weimar. Fallada wrote several different version before eventually capitulating under the pressure of both Goebbels and his depleted finances. Other evidence of his surrender to Nazi intimidation came in the form of forewords he subsequently wrote for two of his more politically ambiguous works, brief passages in which he essentially declared that the events in his books took place before the rise of the Nazis and were clearly “designed to placate the Nazi authorities”.[6]

By the end of 1938, despite the deaths of several colleagues at the hands of the Nazis, Fallada reversed his decision to finally emigrate. His British publisher, George Putnam, had actually made arrangements and sent a private boat to whisk Fallada and his family out of Germany. According to Jenny Williams, Fallada had actually packed his bags and loaded them into the car when he told his wife he wanted to take one more walk around their smallholding. “When he returned some time later,” Williams writes, “he declared that he could not leave Germany and that Suse should unpack.”

Fallada once again dedicated himself to writing children’s stories and other non-political fluff suitable for the sensitive times. Nevertheless, with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and the subsequent outbreak of WWII, life became still more difficult for Fallada and his family. War rations were the basis for several squabbles between his family and other members of his village. On multiple occasions neighbors reported his supposed drug addiction to authorities, threatening to reveal his history of psychological disturbances, a dangerous record indeed under the Nazi regime. The rationing of paper, which prioritized state-promoted works was also an impediment to his career. Nevertheless he continued to publish in a limited role, even enjoying a very brief window of official approval. This window came to a screeching halt near the end of 1943 with the loss of his 25-year publisher Rowohlt, who fled the country. It was also at this time that he turned to alcohol and extra-marital affairs to cope with the increasingly strained relationship with his wife, among other things.

In 1944, although their divorce was already finalized, a drunk Fallada and his wife were involved in an altercation in which a shot was fired by Fallada. His wife took the gun from him and, according to Williams, hit him over the head with it before calling the police, who confined him to a psychiatric institution. Throughout this period Fallada had one thing to cling to: The project he had concocted to put off Goebbels’s insinuations that he write an anti-Semitic novel, which involved a novelization of “a famous fraud case involving two Jewish financiers in the nineteen twenties” which, because of its potential as propaganda, was supported by the government and had eased pressure on him as he worked on other, more sincere projects.[7] Finding himself incarcerated in a Nazi insane asylum, he used this project as a pretext for obtaining paper and writing materials, saying he had an assignment to fulfill from Goebbels’s office, which successfully forestalled more harsh treatment (the insane were regularly subject to barbarous conditions by the Nazis, including physical abuse, sterilization, and even death). But rather than writing the anti-Jewish novel, Fallada actually used his allotment of paper to write – in a dense, overlapping text that acted to encode the text – the tour-de-force novel Der Trinker (The Drinker) as well as a deeply critical autobiographical account of life under the Nazis. It was an act easily punishable by death, but he was not caught, and was released in December 1944 as the Nazi government began to crumble.

Despite a seemingly successful reconciliation with his first wife, he went on to marry the young, wealthy and attractive widow Ulla Losch only a few months after his release and moved in with her in Feldberg. Shortly after, the Soviets invaded and began to restore order. Fallada, as a celebrity, was asked to give a speech at a ceremony to celebrate the end of the war. Following this speech, he was appointed interim mayor of Feldberg for 18 months.

The time in the mental institution had taken a toll on Fallada, and, deeply depressed by the seemingly impossible task of eradicating the vestiges of fascism that were now so deeply ingrained in society from the Nazi regime, he once again turned to morphine with his wife, and both were hospitalized in short order. The brief remainder of his life was spent in and out of hospitals and wards. In addition to his own morphine addiction, Ulla’s appears to have been even worse, and her constantly mounting debts were also a source of concern.

At the time of Fallada’s death in February 1947 he had recently completed Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), an anti-fascist novel based on a true story of a German resistance couple who were executed for producing and distributing anti-fascist material in Berlin during the war.[8] According to Jenny Williams, he wrote the book in a “white heat” – a mere 24 days. He died just weeks before its publication.

After Fallada’s death, due to possible neglect and continuing addiction on the part of his second wife and sole heir, many of his unpublished works were lost or sold.

As of today about ten Fallada novels have been translated into English. Although Little Man, What Now? was a great success in the United States, Fallada has faded into obscurity over the past decades. Several of his works have been adapted for the cinema both in Germany and abroad, including the U.S. Nearly all of Fallada’s works contain some autobiographical details, although none do so in a completely accurate manner.

Melville House Publishing has announced plans to publish a series of works by Fallada, starting with his last and previously untranslated novel Every Man Dies Alone (Jeder stirbt für sich allein), and new translations of Little Man, What Now? and The Drinker, in early 2009.

Works

In English (date is translation):

  • Little Man, What Now? (tr. Eric Sutton, 1933; and tr. ?, 2009)

  • Who Once Eats Out of the Tin Bowl (UK), aka The World Outside (tr. Eric Sutton, 1935)

  • Once We Had a Child (tr. Eric Sutton, 1936)

  • An Old Heart Goes A-Journeying By (tr.  1936)

  • Sparrow Farm (tr. Eric Sutton, 1937)

  • Wolf Among Wolves (tr. P. Owens, 1938)

  • Iron Gustav (tr. P. Owens, 1940)

  • The Drinker (tr. C. and A.L. Lloyd, 1952; and tr.  2009)

  • That Rascal, Fridolin (tr. R. Michaelis-Jena and R. Ratcliff, 1959)

  • Every Man Dies Alone (tr.  2009)

In the original German:

  • Der junge Goedeschal, 1920

  • Anton und Gerda, 1923

  • Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben, 1931

  • Kleiner Mann, was nun?, 1932 (English: Little Man, What Now?)

  • Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frißt, 1932 (English: Who Once Eats Out of the Tin Bowl)

  • Wir hatten mal ein Kind, 1934 (English: Once We Had a Child)

  • Märchen vom Stadtschreiber, der aufs Land flog, 1935 (English: Sparrow Farm)

  • Altes Herz geht auf die Reise, 1936 (English: An Old Heart Goes A-Journeying By)

  • Hoppelpoppel – wo bist du?, Kindergeschichten, 1936

  • Wolf unter Wölfen, 1937 (English: Wolf Among Wolves)

  • Geschichten aus der Murkelei, Märchen, 1938

  • Der eiserne Gustav, 1938 (English: Iron Gustav)

  • Süßmilch spricht, 1938

  • Kleiner Mann – großer Mann, alles vertauscht, 1939

  • Süßmilch spricht. Ein Abenteuer von Murr und Maxe, Erzählung, 1939

  • Der ungeliebte Mann, 1940

  • Das Abenteuer des Werner Quabs, Erzählung, 1941

  • Damals bei uns daheim, Erinnerungen, 1942

  • Heute bei uns zu Haus, Erinnerungen, 1943

  • Fridolin der freche Dachs, 1944 (English: That Rascal, Fridolin)

  • Jeder stirbt für sich allein, 1947 (English: Every Man Dies Alone)

  • Der Alpdruck, 1947

  • Der Trinker, 1950 (English: The Drinker)

  • Ein Mann will nach oben, 1953

  • Die Stunde, eh´du schlafen gehst, 1954

  • Junger Herr – ganz groß, 1965

Notes

  1. Williams, 5.

  2. Williams, 109.

  3. Martin Seymour-Smith, Guide to Modern World Literature, page 600

  4. Williams, 164.

  5. Williams, 186.

  6. Williams, 197.

  7. Williams, 216.

  8. Williams, 254.

References

Every Man Dies Alone

Hans Fallada (Author)

Little Man, What Now?

by Hans Fallada (Author)

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