Y’know, amongst all of this drama about banking and debt and monetary policy, I’m surprised no Catilina has turned up. He campaigned, unsuccesfully of course, on a platform of tabulae novae: that is, a general cancellation of debt. The proposal was, although manifestly stupid, very popular with a vast number of Romans.
The crisis of 63 BC was in part precipitated by Pompey’s re-opening of the markets in Asia Minor, two results of which were that debts in Rome were suddenly called in by creditors, and cash moved out of the city to places like Pergamum. This is, of course, one of the problems with the gold standard: how do those people advocating the gold standard now answer this dilemma?