London Orphans and Credit

           In the early days of government borrowing, public borrowing went hand-in-hand with estates and inheritances. Bonds and annuities, both means by which states in early modern Europe borrowed, were also convenient ways of transferring wealth to widows and heirs.            Perhaps nowhere was this association clearer than in London, especially in the 17th century. The City

Venezuela’s Crisis of the 1980s

           In the 1970s, many countries were hobbled by the energy crises of 1973-74 and 1979. Of course, some made out very well. Oil producing countries spurred along by ‘resource nationalism’, particularly those that did not themselves slash production to keep prices elevated, saw an oil windfall transform their economies. However, oil is a volatile basis

Shibusawa Eiichi

           In 1850, Japan was an economy intentionally closed off from foreign trade. Even Japanese merchants and bankers were not well regarded in the country, let along foreign ones. By 1900, Japan had come a long way industrially and financially, possessing a developed banking system and large industrial firms. Shibusawa Eiichi was responsible for much of

Genoese Finance

           Financial development comes in waves, often washing up in the same place, whether 17th century Holland or 18th century London. In the Late Middle Ages, the centers of European finance were largely in Italy. Many innovations in finance during this era, from bills of exchange to insurance and double-entry bookkeeping to public bonds, either originated

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