Nazi privatization

This paper was news to me:

The Great Depression spurred State ownership in Western capitalist countries. Germany was no exception; the last governments of the Weimar Republic took over firms in diverse sectors. Later, the Nazi regime transferred public ownership and public services to the private sector. In doing so, they went against the mainstream trends in the Western capitalist countries, none of which systematically reprivatized firms during the 1930s. Privatization in Nazi Germany was also unique in transferring to private hands the delivery of public services previously provided by government. The firms and the services transferred to private ownership belonged to diverse sectors. Privatization was part of an intentional policy with multiple objectives and was not ideologically driven. As in many recent privatizations, particularly within the European Union, strong financial restrictions were a central motivation. In addition, privatization was used as a political tool to enhance support for the government and for the Nazi Party.

I thought this sentence (p.13, see the graph on p.14) was interesting:

Overall, the relative dimension of privatization proceeds in 1934-37 Germany is close to the ratio for the EU-15 in 1997-2000, at 1.79 per cent.

Here is some earlier discussion from Mark Thoma.  Again, history holds a lot of surprises. 



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