World: A Crisp Commentary on Inflation

IT offers a capsulized view of English history done in hues of lavender and mauve, royal purple and blue, yellow and green. On one side are juxtaposed St. George jamming his spear down the throat of a writhing dragon, Britannia ruling the waves, and Queen Elizabeth II wearing a crown, royal robes and a stately stare. On the other are a brooding Shakespeare and a portrayal of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. All this intricate—some would say opulent—artwork is compressed on Britain's new £20-note, which became the largest denomination in the land when issued last week.

As recently as 1943,...

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