A.P. Giannini and Bank of America

           Banks were formed in increasing number nearly everywhere in the 19th century. They also moved on from their mercantile specialization to serve industrial clients as the Industrial Revolution took off. However, even towards the end of the century, the average worker or small business had little access to banking services. Lacking good collateral for loans

Railway Mania

           In the 1840s, Britain was gripped by a mania for railway company shares that saw share prices double before a change in prospects caused the market to give up all of these gains and more. Given the scale of the transformations promised by new railways were so substantial, railway mania was perhaps an inevitable frenzy.

Singapore as a Financial Center

           Today, Singapore ranks as one of the world’s largest financial centers. The city’s financial industry is underpinned by its role as a center for foreign exchange trading and foreign currency lending. It developed this role not so much organically or spontaneously but as a result of planning. Still, this doesn’t tell the whole story. A

The Domesday Book

           Taxation is a complicated procedure and it takes a reasonably sophisticated government to tax a population by whatever means it pleases. Even modern governments, those of middle-income or wealthy countries included, often struggle to collect certain taxes effectively. In the case of an income tax, an income needs to be validated some way, and this

Canton System and Hong Merchants

           It is understandable to presume, when the world first became better connected by trade, that this trade was an unregulated free-for-all. However, though governments then might have been weaker than those of today, they were if anything even more motived then than now to regulate and control trade. This was true in Europe, where governments

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