Consolidated Third (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

The Consolidated Third (French: le tiers consolidé) is the name given in France to the 1797 repudiation of public debt of which only one third was guaranteed.

In 1797, France faced a debt load of 4 billion francs, much higher than the previous peak in 1715, and a new record. Moreover, the country was experiencing a phase of hyperinflation due, in part, to Gresham’s law thanks to the over-printing of Assignat, which lowered purchasing power.

Due to this, the French Directory and the Minister of Finance, Dominique-Vincent Ramel-Nogaret, on 30 September 1797[1], issued one-time only paper bonds that would be redeemable for national lands[2]; similar to what the Assignat was originally before it became a paper currency The value of these bonds was only one third of the value of the national debt, thus being a form of Debt consolidation.

This would represent a repudiation of most of the state’s debt, and a bankruptcy of two-thirds of the debt, leading to the euphemism of the remaining being a consolidated third.

 

References

  1. ^« 30 septembre 1797 La banqueroute des deux tiers » by Fabienne Manière, for net, 4 May 2012 (French).
  2. ^http://www.revolutionspodcast.com/2015/08/347-the-directorial-terror.html Revolutions podcast, episode 3.47- The Directorial Terror, 14:30-15:00] by Mike Duncan, for Revolutions (podcast), 16 August 2015.

 

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