Pesos in China

             When gold and silver from the Americas was exported abroad, the effects on the rest of the world were tremendous. In Europe, and in Spain especially, the imports of these precious metals caused lasting inflation. In China, foreign supply overcame a previous scarcity of silver, transforming the composition of the local money supply. In

Insurance and the Great Kanto Earthquake

            In the years before the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, fire insurance was gaining more widespread adoption in Japan. For many insurance companies, it was becoming their largest line of business. Unfortunately, the earthquake and the fires that followed challenged this growth. Many looked to the insurance companies to pay claims after the disaster

Dollarization in Ecuador

            Some currencies are essentially abandoned when they become increasingly worthless due to hyperinflation. The public simply transitions to using foreign currencies instead. However, it’s also possible for a government to officially dispense with its own money and adopt that of another country as its official legal tender. Ecuador experienced a major economic crisis in

The Poseidon Mining Bubble

           For centuries, investments in mines have been particularly speculative. As such, they tend to attract small investors rather than institutions. Also, their share prices can be subject to very large and swift movements once news, or mere rumors, get out. At the end of 1969, mining shares in Australia surged higher before very swiftly giving

Kuxe – German Mining Shares

            Mining can be a very capital-intensive business. Prospecting for gold by panning in a river may not be, but digging mine shafts and building any accompanying infrastructure to extract metal from deeper reserves most certainly is. So, to develop a mine, new companies with little history raise money by issuing shares to a large

Ship Finance through Boom and Bust

             Ships are large expensive assets that are financed over long periods of time. Therefore, in the case of warships, they are physical expressions of a state’s fiscal power. Meanwhile, cargo ships, including tanker ships, require private financing which has been leveraged to greater degree just in the past sixty years or so. However, shipping

The Older Icelandic Banking Crisis

            In 2008, Iceland was afflicted by a banking crisis caused in part by its banks raising huge sums of deposits from foreign savers at high interest rates and the investing of these deposits in questionable assets marked at values that proved impossible to realize. Banking assets as a percentage of Iceland’s small GDP grew

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