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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70


When the tide of prosperity flows unchecked, when profits are made easily and to large amounts, and when employment is abundant, very little desire exists to learn anything respecting the laws which govern the movements and the increase of capital, but in a dull time like the present more than usual interest is taken in such questions. For a given period one new community may be making a much more rapid growth than another, and yet may be far behind after the lapse of a number of years. This may mean that that period of rapid growth was simply the outcome of unsound or temporary conditions. If so, during that period there ought to have been evidence of the unsound or temporary character of the causes which were leading up to such results, and to know of what such evidence consists is a distinct gain. Times of depression come to ail communities, and in new communities depressions are often very keen. Any light on the subject is valuable. In nearly all business affairs the unforeseen plays a great part, but it is to be feared that some such phrase is often made to cover events which might have been foreseen liad reasonable notice been taken of the events preceding. It may be that these notes on capital and finance in Australia may be useful in throwing light on various matters on which doubt exists.