Albert Oustric

            The 1920s saw the emergence of numerous shady characters in the history of finance, the product of a buoyant stock market amidst imbalances beneath the surface. These anti-heroes tended to have something in common, they were really good at raising lots of money. A Frenchman of the period, Albert Oustric, was able to put

Romania’s ‘Caritas’ Scheme

            Like other economies transitioning out of socialism around the same time, Romania in the early 1990s was a fairly dismal place. Offering a bit of hope to many was a local ‘mutual-aid’ financial scheme called Caritas. While appealing to people’s desperation, apathy, and frustrations, Caritas was clearly not a normal financial institution. It promised

Early Banking in Ethiopia

            The first large banks to be founded in a particular country tended to do a bit of everything. They took deposits, made loans, issued banknotes, distributed securities, and more. These functions may have been fulfilled previously by unique actors but large banking firms brought them under one roof and usually on a larger scale.

Wealth in Fin de Siècle France

             At the start of the 19th century, the origin of much of France’s wealth was from land and much of this held by aristocrats. Even in urban and commercial Paris, aristocrats made up a considerable share of the wealthiest residents until well into the century. As the 1800s came to an end though the

Tabloids and Share Tips

            In Britain like other countries, share ownership became much more widespread over the course of the 20th century. The print media responded to this by publishing more content dedicated to investments. In the U.K., even lowbrow tabloids offered extensive financial advice and their role as advisers to their millions of readers continued into the

The Exchange Rate Mechanism Crisis

            European integration may be a feat achieved despite considerable trials and tribulations. Of a financial sort, perhaps the two most notable of these are the crisis with the ‘Exchange Rate Mechanism’ in 1992-93 and the sovereign debt crisis of roughly 2009-15. The former perhaps presaged the latter. Yet, the problems with the Exchange Rate

Sweden’s 1990s Banking Crisis

            There was an international trend towards the deregulation of many industries from the 1970s to the 1990s. In Britain and America, these changes were associated, excessively by both their friends and foes alike, with Thatcher and Reagan. In any case, the liberalization of commercial life, and finance specifically, was far from unique to these

Charles E. Mitchell

            There are some people whose biographies serve as chronicles of an entire time and place. During the financial bubble in American stocks in the 1920s, one such man was Charles Mitchell. He led one of the world’s largest banks as well as its securities division, the largest such operation in the world. During the

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