Railroads and the Bond Market

           Companies in the United States are peculiarly reliant on capital markets to obtain debt financing. Whereas large firms elsewhere often turn to banks for loans, even mid-sized companies in America find it easier to float bonds. Many cite the relative lack of large ‘universal banks’ in the United States, at least up until the recent

From Tea Panic to Tea Party

      Over two centuries ago, a single speculator set off a chain reaction that triggered a global financial panic. Perhaps surprisingly, that speculator was reacting to history unfolding thousands of miles away and his bet had effects across continents. Linking these events was a single commodity of great importance to 18th century trade, tea. The Crisis

The Mark that Saved Germany

           Hyperinflation crippled numerous economies in the 20th century and continues to do so to this day. One of the most severe, and the one that is perhaps the most recounted to this day occurred in Germany following its defeat in the First World War. That episode of hyperinflation, like all the others, was most directly

Art and War

           There has been strengthening interest in alternative investments in the recent past on the part of those willing to dabble in less liquid and professionalized asset classes. Among these alternative investments are collectables, from stamps to cars. It is art however, and paintings in particular, that get the most regular attention thanks to the price

Keynes the Investor

           To the extent he is known to those outside his discipline, the economist John Maynard Keynes is probably known as just that, an economist. That his ideas have come and gone and come around again, if not entirely unknown among practitioners of finance, is at least regarded as tangential to the day-to-day responsibilities of investors.

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