V. I.   Lenin





Principles of Social Economics, by S. Altmann...
K. B\"ucher and many others.

Section V, Part II: “Banking” (Schulze-Gaevernitz and Jaffé), T\"ubingen, 1915.

  1. I. Schulze-Gaevernitz, “The German Credit Bank” (1–190).
  3. II. Edgar Jaffé, “Anglo-American and French Banking” (191–231).
    (More like a textbook, by paragraphs, apparently mostly chatter and “systematics”.)

[[TRIPLE BOX ENDS: There is also interesting material. The spirit of “imperialismthroughout. ]]

p. 53: in 1914 eight Berlin big banks owned

share capital— 1,245 mill. marks
including Deutsche Bank 250
Discontogesellschaft 300
Dresdner Bank 200
reserves . . . . . . . . . . . 432
borrowed money . . . . . . . . 5,328
(“total capital”) . . . . . . . . 7,005

p. 140: Specialisation: “Money and Credit Operations”.

1882 1907
Establishments . . . . . . . . . . 5,879 13,971
Persons employed . . . . . . . . . 21,633 66,275
(of whom women) . . . . . . . 244 3,089
in 1907 there were 3 establishments with > 1,000 employees
Deutsche Bank in 1912 had 6,137
Dresdner Bank ” 1912 ” . . . . . 4,638

cf. p. 11: there were 14,000 banking houses in Germany in 1907, of which 4,000 were auxiliary establishments....

p. 145: ... “The big banks have become the most important means for the economic unification of the German Reich”....

|||| “a dozen persons” “Once the supreme management of the German banks has been entrusted to the hands of a dozen persons, their activity is even today more significant for the public good than that of the majority of Ministers of State” (145–46).[1]

ha-ha!! ||| “If, however, this is so, then the national welfare requires the development of a new spiritual type of bank magnate whose abstract [ha-ha!] urge for profit is permeated by national-political and therefore national-economic considerations....

“If we imagine the development of those tendencies we have noted carried to their logical conclusions we will have: the money capital of the nation united in the banks; the banks themselves combined into cartels; the investment capital of the nation cast in the shape of securities. Then the forecast of that Saint-Simon | genius Saint-Simon will be fulfilled: ‘The present anarchy of production, which corresponds to the fact that economic relations are developing without uniform regulation, must make way for organisation in production. Production will no longer be directed by isolated manufacturers, independent of each other and ignorant of man’s economic needs; that will be done by a certain public institution. A central committee of management, being able to survey the large field of social economy from a more elevated point of view, will regulate it for the benefit of the whole of society, will put the means of production into suitable hands, and above all will take care that there be constant harmony between production and consumption. Institutions already exist which have assumed as part of their functions a certain organisation of economic labour, the banks.’ what Marxism!!! ||| We are still a long way from the fulfilment of Saint-Simon’s forecast, but we are on the way towards it: Marxism, different from what Marx imagined, but different only in form!” (146)[2]

| good example! (envy) 4 and 30 “Of course, investments like those made by Britain, e.g., in the Suez Canal, on the basis of her political power—the shares were bought in 1876 for £4 million and today are worth £30 million—are still unattainable for Germany”...(159–60).

p. 164 quotes J. Lewin, German Capital in Russia, St. Petersburg, 1914.

|| N.B. “The economic function of the banks is the already much discussed management of the national property [a reference to Lansburgh’s article in the magazine Die Bank, 1908]. Today, the greater the development of credit operations, the greater becomes the share of the total capital going to entrepreneurs chosen by the bank. The banks now provide the channels through which flow not only annual savings but also previously accumulated (and continually renewed) capital. One recalls, above all, the enormous growth of ‘borrowed money’. In our joint-stock banks in Germany these deposits amounted |||| N.B. |||| 10,000 million to about 1,280 million marks at the end of 1891; to about 6,305 million marks at the end of 1906; at the present time they are estimated at approximately 10,000 million marks.

|||| 5,000 million “At the end of 1913, deposits of the nine big Berlin banks alone were about 5,100 million marks.[3] At the same time, however, the banks act as channels for still larger movements of capital in dealings in stock. In this matter, even if there is good will, they may make mistakes; they may direct thousands of millions into the wrong channel and,   N.B. ||| under certain circumstances, lose. At the present time a few big banks can to a certain extent determine the course of our economic development. Hence their economic responsibility to the shareholders becomes a national economic responsibility in relation to the state as a whole. They do, in fact, direct capital into industrial and commercial channels, primarily into the giant enterprises N.B. |||| of heavy industry, and also into real estate—formerly into the estates of the nobility but nowadays into the leasehold houses of the big cities. Hence the rapid progress of the German iron industry, which is second only to America, and of the German big cities, which are overtaking even their American prototypes” (p. 12)....

N.B. ||| p. 27: “Borrowed money (of creditors and depositors) at the end of 1908: 8,250 million marks in credit banks, 15,000 million marks in savings banks, 3,000 million marks in credit associations. Σ = 26,250 million marks.

N.B. ||| “‘Private banking houses’ are increasing in number (1892: 2480; 1902: 2,564; 1912: estimated at about 3,500) and decreasing in importance” (p. 16).

Everywhere (passim), throughout, Schulze-Gaevernitz’s tone is that of triumphant German imperialism, of a triumphant swine!!!!

|| Chara-
of a
|| p. 35: 1870 —31 banks with a capital of 376 million marks
1872 —139 ” ” ” ” ” 1,112 ” ”
|| (1873) —73 banks, the rest with a capital of 432
mill. marks liquidated by the crisis

State Bank endorsement and clearing operations (thousand million marks)

1891 1901 1913
|| 98.7 196.6 452.8 || N.B.
including turnover of cash payments
24.3 (=24.7%) 29.7 (=15.1%) 43.4 (=9.6%)

...“In 1909, the Bank of France discounted 7,500,000 bills below 100 francs, whereas the German State Bank discounted only 700,000 bills below 100 marks”. (p. 54).

“Democratisation” of banking!![14] Compare the one-pound shares in Great Britain and the minimum of 1,000 marks in Germany (p. 111).[4] The average size of a bill of exchange in Germany = 2,066 marks (State Bank); in France it is 683 francs (Banque de France).

|| N.B. “G. von Siemens declared in the Reichstag on June 7, 1900, that the one-pound share was the basis of British imperialism” (p. 110).[5]

|| “The British industrial state is based less on credit than the German, and more on its own capital” (55).

“Even today, Great Britain, as the international intermediary for payments, is said to earn about 80 million marks annually as commission on acceptances. It is said that 6,000 million marks are paid annually through Great Britain for the overseas trade of Europe” (83).

p. 100: § entitled “The Banks’ Domination over the Stock Exchanges?”—This is said to be an exaggeration but “their [the banks’] influence is far-reaching”....

||||| “While formerly, in the seventies, the Stock Exchange, flushed with the exuberance of youth, opened the era of the industrialisation of Germany, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by shares, nowadays the banks and industry are able to ‘manage it alone’. The domination of our big banks over the Stock Exchange, which is bound up with “completely organised”[15] ||| contango business—but not only with this—is nothing else than the expression of the completely organised German industrial state. If the domain of automatically functioning economic laws is thus restricted, and if | the domain of conscious regulation by the banks is considerably enlarged, the national economic responsibility of the few directing individuals is immensely increased” (101).[6]

N.B. || (Quoted) A. L\"owenstein, “History of the W\"urttemberg Credit Bank System and Its Relation to Big Industry”... Archiv f\"ur Sozialwissenschaft. Supplementary issue No. 5. T\"ubingen, 1912.

Issues (p. 104):

Internal securities My calculation
1909 1910 1911
Germany with colonies . . . . . . . 3.2 2.5 2.2 7.9:3=2.6
Britain with colonies . . . . . . . 1.9 3.1 1.8 6.8:3=2.3
France with colonies . . . . . . . 1.4 0.7 0.6 2.7:3=0.9
Foreign securities My calculation
1909 1910 1911 Σ:3= ΣΣ
Germany with colonies . . 0.3 0.5 0.5 1.3:3=0.4 3,000 million marks
Britain with colonies . . 1.8 2.3 2.0 6.1:3=2.0 4,300 million marks
France with colonies . . 2.0 3.8 3.1 8.9:3=2.9 3,800 million marks

Issues in Germany (at market value)

000 million marks
Social credit
(state and mu-
nicipal loans)
Land credit
and trade credit
securities Total
securities Total
[1886-1890] 1.8 1.2 1.3 4.3 2.3
[1891-1895] 1.8 2.2 0.8 4.8 1.5
[1896-19001 1.7 1.9 4.3 8.2 2.4
[1901-1905] 3.3 2.3 2.6 8.3 2.1
[1906-1910] 6.0 2.6 4.8 12.6 1.5

The author concludes:

“The statistics of issues very clearly reveal the state-socialist and industrial colouring of the German national economy” (104).

Germany’s “Prussian railway system”, the author says, is “the greatest economic undertaking in the world” (104)....

Joint-Stock Companies in Prussia in 1911

(million marks)
Invested capital Annual profit
No. of
Millions of
% of
% of
177.9% ||| 890 8,821 15,696 177.9 952 10.8% 6.1% ||| 15,700
– 8,800
6,900 mill.

N.B. || ...“Advocates of the small share emphasise that it enables workers to participate in industry, interlocking the interests of the worker and the employer in a way that is socially and economically desirable. It is profit-sharing in a modern form” (pp. 11O–11)—-(in connection with one-pound shares).

phrase-mongering and lies!! {{{ !! || In the § on “speculation in securities” (p. 111 et seq.), instead of exposing speculation by the banks ((cf. the magazine Die Bank, Eschwege and others)), the scoundrel Schulze-Gaevernitz gets out of it by phrases: “If our banks were speculative companies ... it would mean ... the collapse of the German national economy” (112)... ((“if”))... saves the “propriety” of our “business world”, and our bank officials are forbidden to speculate in alien banks (of course, he says, this can be easily circumvented!! in large cities) ...but what about bank directors? For they are “in the know” (“Wissenden”)!! Here, he says, legislation is of no avail, what is needed is “strengthening of the commercial sense of honour and standing” (113)....

“At the end of 1909, the nine big Berlin banks, together with their affiliated banks, 9 banks 83% of the total!! || controlled 11,300,000,000 marks, that is, about 83 per cent of total German bank capital. The Deutsche Bank, which together with its affiliated banks controls nearly 3,000,000,000 marks, represents, parallel to the Prussian State Railway Administration, the biggest and also the most decentralised accumulation of capital in the Old World” (137)....[7]

Agreements between banks: the Darmst\"adter Bank wanted to conclude an agreement with the city of Berlin on “revenue-use” of the Tempelhof area, at a 10 per cent profit. towards a bank cartel || Later, when the Deutsche Bank made this deal—the Darmst\"adter Bank was found to be in its consortium!! (p. 139).... “Bank consortiums of this kind tend to make price agreements”....

(1913) ||| “Nevertheless, the ‘general agreements’ concluded in the summer of 1913 go so far that, after their implementation, there can hardly be any further talk of free competition in banking”... (139)...

25 persons control.... ||| “The Discontogesellschaft, for example, em ploys a permanent staff of 25 to check accounts and the formal aspect of operations” (143).

banks and the army!! || “Army service in Prussia and Germany, with the mass training it provides in disciplined work, performs important preparatory work for big firms, especially the banks. If it were not indispensable already on political grounds, it would have had to be introduced as a preparatory school for big capitalist firms and for raising the intensity of economic activity” (144–45)....

N.B. N.B. ||| “Thirty years ago; businessmen, freely competing against one another, performed nine-tenths of the work connected with their business other than manual labour. At the present time, nine-tenths of this ‘brain work’ is performed by employees. N.B. ||| Banking is in the forefront of this evolution (151).[8] In the gigantic firms, the official is everything, even the director is a ‘servant’ of the institution

...“The Frankfurter Zeitung (May 2, 1914) greeted the fusion of the Discontogesellschaft with the Schaaffhausenscher Bankverein with the following words:

“‘Theconcentration movement of the banks is narrowing the circle of establishments from which it is possible to obtain credits, and is consequently increasing the dependence of big industry upon a small number of banking groups. In view of the close connection between industry and the financial world, the freedom of movement of industrial companies which need banking capital is restricted. For this reason, big industry is N.B. ||| watching the growing trustification of the banks with mixed feelings. Indeed, we have repeatedly seen the beginnings of certain ||| agreements between the individual big banking concerns, which aim at restricting competition’” = (p. 155).[9]

154–55: The question is: who is more dependent on whom, the banks on industry or vice versa?...

Wiewiorowski, The Effect of the Concentration of German Banks on Crisis Phenomena (Freiburg Thesis), Berlin, 1911.

N.B. ||| V\"olker, Forms of Combination and Interest Sharing in German Big Industry, Leipzig, 1909 ((Schmoller’s Jahrbuch, Vol. 33, No. 4)).

Chapter X. “Foreign Investments.”

N.B. ||| “For our banks to be able to channel the inflow of capital into foreign investments requires definite prerequisites of a private economic nature on the part of their clients. N.B. ||| The chief stimulus is the need for a higher rate of profit than that from investment at home,   N.B. ||| where capital wealth is increasing and the rate of interest falling....

N.B. || “...The banks therefore aim primarily at stock issues, which usually yield higher profits in foreign countries poor in capital and rich in raw materials” (158)....

N.B. [cf. above, p. 44 quotation: from pp. 159–60[10] ] N.B.

“According to statistical data, foreign capital investments are estimated at 7 0,000 million ||| 70 35 20 marks for Britain, 35,000 million for France (1910), but hardly 20,000 million for Germany in 1913” (160).

Quoting facts confirming “export stipulations” and the benefit accruing to industry from foreign investments, Schulze-Gaevernitz says, incidentally, that France also benefits from this:

||||| “The French rentier state is thus experiencing a second industrial flowering”—the floating of the Turkish loan in 1910 was made conditional on Turkey not giving to any country ||| character- istic!!! more orders than to France... (p. 163).

|| “Germany today is a typical ‘entrepreneur operating abroad’, whereas France, and gradually also Britain, are becoming ossified as rentiers.... Though the world of today has an Anglo-Saxon countenance, our banks, by N.B. ||| means of railways, mines, plantations, canals, irrigation works, etc., are working to give this countenance traits of the German spirit” (164)....

(N.B.: p. 1, note. “Written before the war.”)

In Chapter X.

N.B. || C. “Political appraisal of foreign investments.”

|| “The export of capital is a means for achieving the foreign policy aims and, at the same time, its success depends on foreign policy.

|| “a) The creditor’ states: France, Great Britain, Germany. Great Britain and France, the two big creditor powers of the world, are political bankers. The state and the banking community act as one and the same person. Such is the French Government and the Crédit Lyonnais. Such is the friendship of Edward VII and Sir E. Cassel. Hoping to win the main prize in the political lottery, France staked thousands of millions of francs on the Russian card alone. Russia, by obtaining money from France, was even able to act as a political loan giver in the Far East—in China and in Persia. France, as a loan giver, had a hold over Spain and Italy, and as her clients they helped her in Algeciras. France was prepared to extend to the Kossuth ministry loans she refused to Count Kuehn: ‘the earnest-money would have been the Triple Alliance’. As a political creditor, Great Britain cemented afresh the British world empire, without fear of pressure on the current value of her Consols. The guaranteed safety afforded colonial state loans in the metropolis enabled, for example, such a half-opened-up new country as Natal to enjoy cheaper credit than long-consolidated, highly respectable Prussia with her gigantic property in railways and state lands. This credit nexus is a ‘bond of interests’, stronger, perhaps, than Chamberlain’s preferential tariffs would ever have been. Going beyond the imperial connections, the British creditor keeps Japan in political vassalage, Argentina in colonial dependence, and Portugal in unconcealed debt bondage. The governors of Portuguese Africa, for all their gold braid, are British puppets” (165)....

...“The total [of German capital in Russia] is estimated at 3,000,000,000. The preference shown by our banks for this greatest of all   N.B. || the debtors in world history is understandable if one bears in mind the high bank profits from Russian securities” (166).

|| gem!!! “There can be no doubt, that, in their efforts for political and economic independence, the semi-civilised countries not yet allotted as colonies cannot receive from any European power such unselfish support as from Germany. || gem!! China, Persia and Turkey know that Germany has no territorial claims” (167).

{{ impe- rialism and democ- racy[16] }} ...“Conditions within a country that are inimical to freedom are an obstacle also to world political thought penetrating deeply into the soul of a people. How far we are from the slogan ‘imperium et libertas’, to which ||| gem! (and N.B.) the Anglo-Saxons, from Cromwell to Rhodes, owe their greatest successes!” (168)

[[DOUBLE BOX ENDS: the bribing of wide sections of the petty bourgeoisie and of the upper strata of the proletariat is more subtle, more cunning ]]

“The German banks abroad everywhere encountered the competition of the long-established British ‘foreign banks’, which even today far surpass them in volume of business and size of share capital” (173)....

...“All the more soberly, therefore, must we regard the fact that we have arrived late on the scene. The activity of the German foreign banks can be likened to the highly promising steps of an eager youth from whom the greater part of the world has been barred by its fortunate possessor. Hardly a single German banking establishment is from be found in the ||| gem!!! British Empire, to say nothing of the French and Russian empires, and yet it is claimed that the Britisher rules the world in the interests of all. The future of German foreign   N.B. ||| banking depends largely on solving a political problem: keeping of an open door to the still uncolonised countries, rebirth of the Moslem world, creation of a German colonial empire in Africa”... (174).

The second part of the book, the work of Jaffé is a dry-as-dust survey of Anglo-American and French banking. Nil.

Section VI of Principles of Social Economics. “Industry, Mining, Building.” T\"ubingen, 1914.

Many source references (cf. p. 37[11] ).

For statistical data on big industry see ruled notebook.[12]

[[DOUBLE BOX: Copy from the book: pp. 34 and 143, industry in 1882 and 1907 ]]

From the article by M. R. Weyermann: “Modern Industrial Technique.”

N.B. |||| quotes K. Rathenau’s book, The Effect of Increased Capital and Output on Production Costs in German Engineering Industry, 1906.

Pump models
Approximately 50% output increase A B C
197 880 1,593 marks
162 738 1,345
Typewriters (p. 157)
Number produced 100 Price= 200 marks
500 160
1,000 140
2,000 125

Issues of German industrial shares {according to the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Dictionary of Political Science} ((“New Issues”))

1903—195,300,000 Beginning of boom ||| boom versus crisis
1904—267,600,000 ” ” ”
1905—492,500,000 Boom
1906—624,300,000 Boom peak
1907—240,200,000 Crisis
1908—326,700,000 (Beginning of revival)

According to Behr’s data, consumption of footwear in the United States was (p. 175):

1880— 2.5 pairs per inhabitant ||| N.B.
1905— 3.12 ” ” ”

From Th. Vogelstein’s article “Financial Organisation of Capitalist Industry and Formation of Monopolies”.

||| N.B. “Ten years after May 9, 1873, when, in Sch\"onlank’s exaggerated expression, the bells tolled the death of the economic boom and the birth of cartels, Fr. Kleinw\"achter published his book on cartels” (216).

From the history of cartels:

“Isolated examples of capitalist monopoly could be cited from the period preceding 1860; in these could be discerned the embryo of the forms that are so common today; but all this undoubtedly represents the prehistory of cartels. The real beginning of modern monopoly goes back, at the earliest, || to the sixties. The first important period of development || N.B. of monopoly commenced with the inter national industrial depression of the seventies and lasted until the beginning of the nineties” (222).

N.B. || “If we examine the question on a European scale, we will find that the development of free competition reached its apex in the sixties   || and seventies. It was then that Britain completed the construction of her old—style capitalist organisation. In Germany, this organisation entered into a fierce struggle with handicraft and domestic industry, and began to create for itself its own forms of existence” (ibidem).

“The great revolution commenced with the crash of 1873, or rather, the depression which followed it and which—with hardly discernible interruptions in the early eighties, and an unusually violent but short-dived boom about 1889—occupies twenty-two years of European economic history” (222)....

...“During the short boom of 1889-90, the system of cartels was widely resorted to in order to take advantage of favourable business conditions. An ill-considered policy sent prices soaring more rapidly and steeply than would have been the case if there had been no cartels, and nearly all these cartels ended ingloriously in the ‘grave of bankruptcy’. Another five-year period of bad trade and low prices followed, but a new spirit reigned in industry. The depression was no longer regarded as something to be taken for granted; it was regarded merely as a pause before another boom.

second epoch of cartels |||| “The cartel movement entered its second epoch: from a transitory phenomenon, the cartels became one of the foundations of economic life. They were winning one industry after another, primarily, the industries processing raw materials. By the early nineties the cartel system had already acquired—in the organisation of the coke syndicate, N.B. ||| on the model of which the coal syndicate was later formed—a cartel technique which has hardly been improved on. For the first time the great boom at the close of the nineteenth century and the crisis of 1900–03 occurred entirely—in the mining and iron industries at least—within a cartel economy. And while at that time it appeared to be something novel, now the general public takes it for granted that large spheres of economic life have been, as a general   rule, removed from the realm of free competition” (224)....[13]

Forms of cartels:

  1. a) Cartels fixing sales conditions (terms, time limits, payment, etc....)
  2. b) Cartels fixing the sales areas
  3. c) Cartels fixing output quotas
  4. d) Cartels fixing prices
  5. e) Cartels fixing distribution of profit

Syndicate—single sales office (Verkaufsstelle)

Trustownership of all enterprises

[[BOX: sole and absolute power ]]

Consult Kondt


[1] Ibid., p. 303.—Ed.

[2] See present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 303–04.—Ed.

[3] Ibid., p. 211.—Ed.

[4] See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 228.—Ed.

[5] Ibid.—Ed.

[6] See present edition, Vol. 22 p. 218.—Ed.

[7] See present edition, Vol. 22. p. 211.—Ed.

[8] Ibid., p. 219.—Ed.

[9] See present edition. Vol. 22 p. 220.—Ed.

[10] See p. 59 of this volume.—Ed.

[11] See pp. 50–51 of this volume.—Ed.

[12] This refers to Notebook “μ”. see pp. 464—65 of this volume.—Ed.

[13] See present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 200–02.—Ed.

[14] Lenin refuted the apologetic inventions about the “democratisation” of capital as far back as 1902. He conclusively showed that individual workers acquiring small shares do not become owners of joint-stock enterprises, “propertied” people. The ones who profit from the issue of small shares are the big shareholders of the capitalist monopolies and joint-stock companies—they use for their enrichment even the very small crumbs of the people’s savings (see present edition, Vol. 6, p. 96). p. 61

[15] In the Notebooks and Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin exposes the bourgeois-apologetic nature of “organised capitalism”, an unscientific theory that seeks to prove that imperialism is a special, transformed capitalism which has abolished competition, anarchy of production and economic crises, and has achieved planned economic development. This theory, advanced by the ideologists of monopoly capitalism—Sombart, Liefmann, etc.—was seized upon by Kautsky, Hilferding and other reformist theoreticians of the Second International. Lenin demonstrated that monopolies’ rule, far from abolishing, intensifies competition and anarchy of production, and does not rid the capitalist economy of crises (see present edition, Vol. 22, p. 208). p. 62

[16] In his study of imperialism, Lenin showed that political reaction in all aspects of home and foreign policy is the political superstructure of monopoly capitalism. Imperialism, he pointed out, is the negation of democracy in general (see present edition, Vol. 23, p. 43). Monopoly capitalism curtails or nullifies even formal bourgeois democracy, and establishes its unlimited dictatorship.

The characteristic features of imperialist for policy are aggression, violation of the national sovereignty of weak and dependent countries. p. 69


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