In countries with a tradition of more than one hundred years of a free market economy, both public opinion and the economic policy of subsequent governments focus on pragmatic continuity. Changes or corrections are reduced to the necessary minimum. Further, any such change in economic policy is mainly the result of democratic elections and not that of unusual events of far-reaching, unpredictable consequences, such as wars or crises. However, this scenario is rarely found in countries with a much shorter market economy history, as in the case of Poland.
This book presents the history of Poland's economic development in two periods: the interwar period and the period that followed the collapse of communism. The periods under study came in the aft ermath of historic events characterised by massive human and material losses, the First and the Second World War. Only two twenty-year periods can be said to feature market economy mechanisms in Poland, as prior to 1918 there had been no Polish state, and the period between 1950 and 1989 was marked by a socialist economy. Such a state of affairs was caused by both "bad geography" and the post-Yalta political "order". Both periods have also generated many heated discussions on issues related to the state's economic system and policy.
The publication is addressed to academics, doctoral candidates and students.
Chapter I Poland's market economy in the interwar period (1918-1939) 11 1. Doctrinal discussions 11 The "third way" 14 Nationalist economic thinking in interwar Poland 28 The "old" generation 28 The "young" generation 31 The "intermediate" economic programme of the National Party 39 Ethics 43 Private property 45 Agriculture 51 Market and money 52 International relations 56 Nationalism 57 Statism and market economy 59 Literature 68 2. Credit institutions in the interwar period 69 The Polish market in the interwar period 87 The Warsaw Stock Exchange 106 The Premium (3%) Investment Loan 111 The Third Series Premium (4%) Dollar Loan 112 The (4%) Consolidation Loan of 1936 113 The State (5%) Conversion Loan of 1924 115 The (5%) Conversion Railway Loan of 1926 115 The Internal (4.5%) State Loan of 1937 116 Interest-bearing bank securities 117 Interest-bearing securities of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) 117 Interest-bearing securities of Państwowy Bank Rolny 118 Interest-bearing securities of Bank Akceptacyjny S.A. 119 Interest-bearing securities of Polski Bank Komunalny 120 Mortgage bonds 121 Mortgage bonds of land credit societies 122 Long-term credit 130 The state credit market 134 The private market 141 Land credit societies 143 Municipal credit societies, municipal banks and mortgage banks 146 Credit Society of Polish Industry 148 Characteristics of the Polish credit market 153 Pocztowa Kasa Oszczędności 167 State-owned savings institutions on Polish territories before 1919 168 3. Elimination of the credit market in the Polish People's Republic 172 Sources and literature 185
Chapter II The second period: system transformation 192 1. Legislative processes of 1989-2001 193 Law on commercial activity - a historic overview 215 Local government 218 Protection of competition 219 2. Return to a free market economy 220
Afterword 237 Literature 238