Saving the City: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914

Saving the City: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914


By (author) Richard Roberts


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 236mm x 36mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 28 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199646546
  • ISBN 13: 9780199646548
  • Illustrations note: illustrations (black and white)
  • Sales rank: 325,560

Product description

In London, the world's foremost financial centre, the week before the outbreak of the First World War saw the breakdown of the markets, culminating with the closure for the first time ever of the London Stock Exchange on Friday 31 July. Outside the Bank of England a long anxious queue waited to change bank notes for gold sovereigns. Bankers believed that a run on the banks was underway, threatening the collapse of the banking system-all with the nation on the eve of war. This book tells the extraordinary, and largely unknown, story of this acute financial crisis that surged over London and around the globe. Drawing on diaries, letters, and memoirs of participants and a wide range of press coverage, as well as government and bank archives, it presents a lively and colourful account of a remarkable episode in financial and social history, outlining the drama of the collapse and the measures taken to contain it. This crucial and compelling 'missing piece' in the world's financial development was the first true global financial crisis, and proved a landmark in the management of financial crises.

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Author information

Richard Roberts is Professor of Contemporary History at the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London. He has held fellowships at Downing College, Cambridge, Princeton University, and the Bank of England. He specialises in financial history and is author of many publications in this field including histories of City investment bank Schroders (1992) and consortium bank Orion (2001). His contemporary studies Wall Street (2002) and The City (2008) are published by The Economist.

Review quote

Roberts has made a distinguished and scholarly contribution to the genre of financial history, and yet his account of the various back-room negotiations between politicians, bureaucrats and bankers has all the elements of a thriller. Christopher Silvester, Spear's

Table of contents

PART I BREAKDOWN ; 1. House Closed ; 2. Bolt from the Blue ; 3. Worst Days ; PART II CONTAINMENT ; 4. Bankers Scheme ; 5. Treasury View ; 6. War Conference ; 7. Banks Reopen ; PART III REVIVAL AND REPRESSION ; 8. Cold Storage ; 9. Fixing the Foreign Exchanges ; 10. House Open ; PART IV PERSPECTIVES ; 11. Global Financial Crisis ; 12. Perspectives and Conclusions