*The Empire Trap*

That is the new book by Noel Maurer and the subtitle is The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas, 1893-2013.  This is an excellent book and somehow the title, while descriptively accurate, does not do justice to its interest and contents.

My favorite part of the book is about the fiscal receiverships applied to various Latin American countries in the early twentieth century.  They were much more extensive than I had realized, and virtually all of them failed.

Here is an interesting sentence in a slightly different direction:

At the turn of the twentieth century, the leaders of American foreign policy believed they had identified poor fiscal conditions as the key factor destabilizing the nations of Latin America.

Do you want your Scott Sumner fact of the day?  In 1931, nominal gdp in El Salvador fell by 37%.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Latin America, 20th century American foreign policy, extra-territorial relationships, or the history of public finance.


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