The First Mutual Fund

           Perhaps the most widely practiced approach to investing today is by doing so through a mutual fund of one form or another. This is perfectly sensible; someone without a lot of money to invest would be greatly handicapped if the diversification benefits of mutual funds were unavailable to them. Exactly how much money is invested

The Loan that Built the Bank of England

           Despite the fact that modern central banking did not come about until the 19th century, the history of the Bank of England extends back far further. While its responsibilities have no doubt transformed over its three-century history, the Bank has always served a distinguished role in Britain’s system of public finance. Indeed, the institution has

The Decline and Fall of Roman Coinage

           During the reign of Trajan, at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the Roman Empire controlled all of western and southern Europe, the coast of North Africa, and much of the Middle East. Perhaps 100 million people lived under the rule of its emperors. Yet, by the middle of the 3rd century, it was

Thirty Maidens of Geneva

        Securitizations are often regarded as innovations of modern finance, products of the last three decades and not the last three centuries. In fact, pooling financial assets together and selling tradable instruments backed by that pool is not so novel a practice as one might think. Over two centuries ago, bankers were pooling life annuities, contracts

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