The central bankers themselves are an interesting lot, often people not born to the ruling circles, sometimes middle-class strivers who make tremendous personal sacrifices to achieve their positions (central banking being neither glamorous nor for the weak of mind). Their private foibles and troubles add richness to the story.
If there is a star of the story, it is John Maynard Keynes, who accurately understood the errors of the Versailles treaty and of the gold standard, particularly one based on the pre-war conversion terms. An article he wrote for a British paper resonates today See pages 229-230.
We should run the risk of having to curtail ... credit to our industries merely because an investment boom in Wall Street had gone too far, or because of a sudden change in fashion amongst Americans towards foreign bond issues, or because banks in the Middle West had got tied up with their farmers or because of the horrid fact that every American had ten motor-cars and a wireless set in every room of every house had become known to manufacturers of these articles.Mr Ahamed suggests that the depression that began, long before there were ten cars in every garage and wireless in every room, was exacerbated by the ineptitude of the successors to Mr Norman and in particular Mr Strong.
(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)