L'Argent

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L'Argent is a 1891 novel by Emile Zola, the eighteenth in his Les Rougon-Macquart series.

After a disastrous speculation, Aristide Saccard (who also appears in La Fortune des Rougon and La Curée) is forced to sell his mansion in the Parc Monceau and to cast about for means of creating a fresh fortune. By chance he becomes acquainted with Hamelin, an engineer whose residence in the East has suggested to him financial schemes which at once attract the attention of Saccard. With a view to financing these schemes, the Universal Bank is formed, and by force of advertising becomes immediately successful. Emboldened by success, Saccard launches into wild speculation, and the bank ultimately becomes insolvent, causing the ruin of thousands of depositors. The scandal is so serious that Saccard is forced to disappear from France and to take refuge in Belgium.

The book was intended to show the terrible effects of speculation and fraudulent company promotion, the culpable negligence of directors, and the impotency of the existing laws. It deals with the shady underworld of the financial system.fr:L'Argent


L'Argent is also a film by Robert Bresson. It is not based on Zola's novel.

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