It was on Good Friday of 1917 that the U.S. Congress permitted this nation to enter the European war known as World War I. Why did they do it? Was it “to make the world safe for democracy?” Was it “to end all wars?” Or was it to pressure Europe not to default on massive loans made?
The Reverend Charles Coughlin, a controversial figure, asserted that we entered the Great War because otherwise Germany would have been victorious and then England and France would have been forced to repudiate debts owed to the United States. 
Days before war was declared, Mr. E.P.C. Harding, president of the Bank Board of the United States, is quoted as having stated, “As a banker and creditor, the United States would have a place at the Peace Conference table [if it entered the war], and be in a much better position to resist any proposed repudiation of debts, for it might as well be remembered that we will be forced to take up the cudgels for any of our citizens owning bonds that might be repudiated.” 
From 1914 through 1917, “American corporations [and their stockholders] had been waxing fat on the war materials which they were shipping chiefly to England and to France.” Both European nations owed a lot of money. In 1917, a potential disaster loomed: it appeared certain that Germany would be victorious. Were that to occur, both nations would have had to repudiate their debts. By backing loans to England and France, investors had been betting on victory. Now, it looked like the dice were going to roll “snake eyes.” 
Because the United States entered the Great War in 1917, it was officially participating and could claim a place at the peace table. The complexion of the loans to the Allies underwent a change. Payment was being secured by the lives of American soldiers. 
After the U.S. entered the war, the U.S. taxpayer also shouldered a burden: $14 billion worth of wheat, cotton, meat, coal, and munitions sent to Europe were paid for by U.S. government bonds, loans bearing interest. The producers of these supplies were immediately paid; but the bond holders got screwed: according to Father Coughlin, the U.S. government summarily canceled this debt at the end of the conflict, leaving ordinary investors holding the (empty) bag. “Our Government without consulting you or me canceled it and placed the burden of that debt on your shoulders.” 
But why would the U.S. first “take up the cudgels for its citizens owning bonds” only to later quietly cancel other bonds? The answer could be that, in the first case, the producers had not yet been paid. 
The peace talks consequent to the November 11, 1918 armistice which ended the First World War took place at Versailles, France, in the Hall Of Mirrors, in 1919.
The word “armistice” is from the Latin arma + stitium, meaning a temporary suspension of hostilities, a truce.  It does not mean a surrender. Germany had not surrendered on November 11, 1918.
Huge debts followed the Great War. Consequent to Versailles, a fine of $33 billion was imposed on Germany. Managing implementation of the settlement were bankers, not statesmen. The blood money of the vast war tribute was crystallized into billions of dollars in bonds, offered for sale to the American people on assurances from the bankers. But Germany felt that since it had never surrendered, punitive damages could be rejected. American investors were suckered into buying “reparation bonds,” and in that way war debts were paid down under false pretenses. 
In January 1921, the total sum due for the “reparation bonds” was set at 132 billion gold marks. However, the actual amount of reparations that Germany was obliged to pay out was not the 132 billion marks cited in 1921 but rather 50 billion marks. The highly publicized rhetoric of 1919 about paying for all the damages and all the veterans’ benefits was irrelevant to the total. The historian Sally Marks stated the 112 billion marks in “C bonds” were entirely chimerical — a device to fool the public into thinking Germany would pay much more. 
The Hall Of Mirrors was where scores of illusions coexisted with one reality also present: but which were the illusions and which the reality? In “Hall Of Mirrors, 1919” (Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of September 28, 2013), it was shown how responsibility for WWI war debts were foisted off onto Germany. Later, around 1925, the security of “reparation bonds” based on Germany’s presumed willingness to pay began to be questioned. This led to a bond market collapse and was a cause of the Great Depression.
The beast had risen from the pit. This all connects to 100 years ago and the creature born then: the so-called “Federal” Reserve. Arriving was the “New Herod” of international bankers, (Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of January 19, 2014).
——- Sources ——-
 Eight Lectures on Labor, Capital, and Justice, by Rev. Charles Coughlin. 1934
 Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. 1969.
 By The Sweat Of Thy Brow, by Rev. Charles Coughlin. 1931
 “World War I reparations”, Wikipedia, January 19, 2014