From Sea Loans to Lloyd’s

           Not all financial products attempt to turn a sum of money today into a larger one tomorrow. Even retail banking grew more out of a desire to protect what one had rather than to acquire more. However, the need for protection features more prominently in the story of insurance than of almost any other financial

The Fruitful Career of Benjamin Graham

           In numerous respects, Benjamin Graham transformed the investment profession. For decades a superstitious trade practiced by mystics believing the strangest of strategies would bestow them with riches, managing money has become a mathematical profession perhaps excessively at odds with human irrationality. It was Graham, more than anyone else, who made investing and security analysis systematic.

Eastern Bloc Hard Currency Shops

           During their last two decades under socialism, the economies of Eastern Europe struggled with current account deficits and limited access to credit with which to finance them. In most of these countries, this spawned efforts to acquire foreign ‘hard’ currency whenever it entered their borders, undertakings that involved a lot of creative thinking and government

China’s Currency Revolution

           Over the past two thousand years, commerce has transitioned from using metal coins as the principal medium of exchange to using paper banknotes. Paper currencies started off as peculiar local institutions, often conceived as a type of debt obligation, and served as stand-ins for actual coins. Today, they have become the universal norm and are

The 19th Century Eurozone

           In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty committed the European Union to adopting a single currency, the euro. The most immediate precursor to the euro in existence then was the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) which pegged several European currencies to each other, creating a system of fixed exchange rates. The ERM was established in 1979 and disintegrated

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