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When Robert Harley steps in as England's new Chancellor of the Exchequer, he discovers that not only is the government deeply in debt, but no one knows quite how much debt it owes. Because vicious political infighting between the Tory and Whig politic parties made it difficult to pass new tax laws, Harley turned to a private financier named John Blunt to help find enough money for England to keep up with its expenses for the year. Using Harley's government resources, Blunt instigated a series of get-rich schemes that drove artificial demand for unsustainable land and lottery investments with tremendous short term gains. Before the year was done, Blunt had successfully covered the shortfall for the government that year - albeit at the cost of driving England's already outrageous debt even higher.
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