The financial collapse of 2007-8 has questioned our assumptions about the underlying basis for stability in the financial system, and Anthony Hotson here offers an important reassessment of the development of London's money and credit markets since the great currency crisis of 1695. He shows how this period has seen a series of intermittent financial crises interspersed with successive attempts to find ways and means of stabilizing the system. He emphasises, in particular, the importance of various principles of sound banking practice, developed in the late nineteenth century, that helped to stabilize London's money and credit markets. He shows how these principles informed a range of market practices that limited aggressive forms of funding, and discouraged speculative lending. A tendency to downplay the importance of these regulatory practices encouraged a degree of complacency about their removal, with consequences right through to the present day.
Anthony Hotson is an associate member of the History Faculty, University of Oxford, and a research associate of the Centre for Financial History, Cambridge. He worked at the Bank of England during the 1980s, including a secondment as assistant commissioner at the newly formed Building Societies Commission. He was employed by McKinsey and Company before joining S. G. Warburg, where he worked as a corporate financier and director during the 1990s. Thereafter, he has served as a non-executive director on a number of company boards in the insurance, fund management, and banking sectors, as well as pursuing his academic interests. More recently, Dr Hotson has been a research fellow at the Winton Institute for Monetary History, Oxford. He teaches macroeconomics and financial history, and has recently co-edited a book on the economic policies of the Thatcher government, and another on British financial crises since the nineteenth century. He is a non-executive director of Cenkos Securities plc and chairs a charity, the Wadenhoe Trust.
1. Introduction; 2. Principles and practice; 3. Minted currency and the bullion market; 4. Credit markets and clearing banks; 5. Liability management redux; 6. Bankers against speculation; 7. History and policy.