Norma Cohen is an Honorary Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, and a former FT journalist. Her PhD thesis, on the finance of the First World War, is entitled 'How Britain Paid for War: Bond Holders in the Great War 1914-1932'. In this post she argues why an Excess Profit Duty, implemented in 1917 to help pay for the war, ought to be reconsidered today.Britain’s indebtedness, relative to output, has risen to levels not seen since wartime. That fact has caused many to draw parallels between battling the Covid-19 pandemic and that of waging war.Some are appropriate. Both the waging of war and the blockage of a highly contagious, deadly illness require supply chain disruptions. These lead to distortions in both the supply of, and demand for, goods and
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Norma Cohen is an Honorary Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of...