This is the first history of finance - broadly defined to include money, banking, capital markets, public and private finance, international transfers etc. - that covers Western Europe (with an occasional glance at the western hemisphere) and half a millennium.

Charles Kindleberger highlights the development of financial institutions to meet emerging needs, and the similarities and contrasts in the handling of financial problems such as transferring resources from one country to another, stimulating investment, or financing war and cleaning up the resulting monetary mess. The first half of the book covers money, banking and finance from 1450 to 1913; the second deals in considerably finer detail with the twentieth century.

This major work casts current issues in historical perspective and throws light on the fascinating, and far from orderly, evolution of financial institutions and the management of financial problems. Comprehensive, critical and cosmopolitan, this book is both an outstanding work of reference and essential reading for all those involved in the study and practice of finance, be they economic historians, financial experts, scholarly bankers or students of money and banking.

This groundbreaking work was first published in 1984.

chapter 1|14 pages


part |2 pages

Part One Money

chapter |2 pages

Introduction to Part One

chapter 2|16 pages

The Evolution of Money in Western Europe

chapter 3|20 pages

Bank Money

part |2 pages

Part Two Banking

chapter |2 pages

Introduction to Part Two

chapter 5|20 pages

English and Scottish Banking

chapter 6|22 pages

French Banking

chapter 7|19 pages

German Banking

chapter 8|17 pages

Italian and Spanish Banking

part |2 pages

Part Three Finance

chapter |3 pages

Introduction to Part Three

chapter 9|19 pages

Government Finance

chapter 10|18 pages

Private Finance, Individuals and Families

chapter 11|18 pages

Private Finance—The Corporation

chapter 13|20 pages

Transfer Cases

chapter 15|18 pages

Financial Crises

part |2 pages

Part Four The Interwar Period

chapter |2 pages

Introduction to Part Four

chapter 16|19 pages

War Finance, Reparations, War Debts

chapter 17|19 pages

German Postwar Inflation

chapter 18|17 pages

The Restoration of the Pound to Par

chapter 19|18 pages

Stabilization of the Franc

chapter 20|21 pages

The 1929 Depression

chapter 21|16 pages

The 1930s

part |2 pages

Part Five Afrer World War II