The Erie Canal and Municipal Bonds

           The long-term benefits of a great project often have little to do with its exact timing, especially for undertakings years away from completion anyway. These extensive works must be planned and launched without a firm understanding of how the world will look once they are completed. The Erie Canal, which connects the Great Lakes, and

The World Bank’s Pandemic Bonds

           Insurance works courtesy of the law of large numbers. Every year, some number of homes burn down and some proportion of cars crash and these events may be unpredictable to any one insured person. To an insurer though, the occurrence of such mishaps across their portfolios is actually quite predictable. However, insurers also have a

Hull Clubs and Mutual Marine Insurance

           Marine insurance is one of the oldest forms of insurance. In Europe, it traces its history to the Late Middle Ages and even predates life insurance, at least in continuous widespread use. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the insurance industry became increasingly sophisticated and even recognizable to modern eyes. Insurance marketplaces were formed, like

The Daily London Gold Fix

           For well over a century, London was the center of the world’s gold trade despite being near no major sources of the metal nor a particularly large consumer of it. It was, however, the capital of an empire that spanned many of the gold producing regions of the world and the city was home to

The Bank of England and Lancashire Cotton

           While increased state involvement in industrial affairs in Europe is typically identified as a defining feature of economic reality in the years after the Second World War, this involvement was a continuation of economic policies pursued by pre-war governments. Further, it wasn’t only ministers and bureaucrats that increasingly organized industry, but central banks as well.