Of Financial Watchmen, Happy Savers and Suicides
The Habsburgs and the State Finances
The Habsburgs were always short of money: they filled their coffers with the help of taxes and private banks. It was not only their personal finances that the Habsburgs had to worry about. As rulers they also had to bear responsibility for the state budget, that is to say for the Monarchy’s expenditure and income. The establishment of the Finance Ministry and the National Bank was meant to help keep a better check on the state budget. While during the first half of the nineteenth century the financial situation was tight for most of the time, during the years of the Gründerzeit from about 1850 to 1873 the Monarchy experienced an economic boom. ‘Black Friday’ and the ensuing stock exchange crash in 1873 put an end to this boom, at least temporarily.