"I wanted to put our current predicament into historical context, and to demonstrate that the situation we find ourselves in is not novel. It differs quantitatively, but not qualitatively, from what has gone before - many times before in fact. Great cycles of expansion and contraction are part of the human condition, and there are patterns of boom and bust that continually repeat themselves, as they are throroughly grounded in human nature. Collective human optimism and pessimism are extremely powerful drivers, acting over very long time scales. They are powerful enough to drive tremendous cycles of socioeconomic expansion and contraction. As population grows and optimism increases during a long expansion phase, pressure emerges that can only be relieved by increasing the elasticity of the money supply, often in spite of existing rules intended to prevent this very dynamic in the name of maintaining sound money."
Nicole Foss, The Automatic Earth