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Lombard Street: Walter Bagehot: In he published Lombard Street, which, though really a tract arguing for a larger central reserve in the hands of the Bank . Lombard Street has ratings and 26 reviews. Al said: This little book, published in , describes the functioning of the first great capital market. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Walter Bagehot (3 February – 24 March ) was a British businessman, essayist, Social Darwinist and journalist .

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Ultimately these plausible predictions may or may not be right, but as yet they have been quite wrong, not because England has rich people—there are wealthy people in all countries—but because she possesses an unequalled fund of floating streer, which will help in a moment any merchant who sees a great prospect of new profit. Johnstone, in Appendix II. But a sudden trade of import like the import of foreign corn after a bad harvest—or what is much less common, though there are cases of it the cessation of any great export, causes a balance to become due, which must be paid in cash.

Known deposits in London in were , pounds, while New York was next with the equivalent of 40, pounds. And what is more, the Bank directors are not trained bankers; they were not bred to the trade, and do not in general give the main power of their minds to it. In England we can often effect, by the indirect compulsion sstreet opinion, what other countries must effect by the direct compulsion of Government.

Thomas rated it it was amazing Jul 23, That instrument is the elevation of the rate of interest. If the interest of money be raised, it is proved by experience that money does come to Lombard Street, and theory shows that it ought to come. My best thanks are due to the friend who has placed his services at my disposal for this purpose.

But they are great lenders to those who lend. The London and Westminster has only 13 per cent. France also was not an honest government in that it gave the contract for note issuance to a bad bank, and France later paid of its debts with bad paper.

I should only incur useless ridicule if I did suggest it. The book was initially printed in Great Britain by Henry S. That it works fairly well in France, and that there are specious arguments of theory for it, would not be sufficient to his mind.


No definite step has been taken towards its solution, but the discussion is very far from having been fruitless. The offer of no other securities would have tempted them, for they had confidence in no other securities. All people are most credulous when they are most happy; and when much money has just been made It is impossible to be certain on this point, since very few of the banks show in their balance sheets separate statements of current and deposit accounts.

English trade is carried on upon borrowed capital to an extent of which few foreigners have an idea, and none of our ancestors could have conceived. They are the financial system’s last reserve and through that special status bear responsibility for acting as the system’s lender of last resort.

When we scrutinise the reason of the impaired reputation of English goods, we find it is the fault of new men with little money of their own, created by bank ‘discounts. A country dependent mainly on great ‘merchant princes’ will never be so prompt; their commerce perpetually slips more and more into a commerce of routine.

The note of the Bank of France has not indeed been depreciated enough to disorder ordinary transactions. It is due, not to any action by the Bank of England, but to an external process arising out of the development of the other joint stock banks and the rapidity with which they have multiplied offices, sowing their banking crop all over the country.

The only downside is that there are large swatches of the book that are only of historical interest. And with the Bank of England, as with other Banks in the same case, these advances, if they are to be made at all, should be made so a “Nothing, therefore, can be more certain than that the Bank of England has in this respect no peculiar privilege; that it is simply in the position of a Bank keeping the Banking reserve of the country; that it must in time of panic do what all other similar banks must do; that in time of panic it must advance freely and vigorously to the public out of the reserve.

Lombard Street

Cheque-books are unknown, and money kept on running account by bankers is rare. A man of large wealth, however intelligent, always thinks, more or less—’I have a great income, and I want to keep it. If the bankers of a country are asked for much more than is commonly wanted, then this reserve must be resorted to. They must lend to merchants, to minor bankers, to ‘this man and that man,’ whenever the security is good.


The briefest and truest way of describing Lombard Street is to say that it is by far the greatest combination of economical power and economical delicacy that the world has even seen. Refresh and try again.

All this Bagehot foresaw and predicted. Continental bankers and others instantly send great sums here, as soon as the rate of interest shows that it can be done profitably. It is now generally recognised that this system gives us a credit organisation of unrivalled elasticity, and banking reformers in America are now endeavouring to adopt it, with modifications necessitated by local conditions.

But Bagehot stteet purpose in writing the streer was to argue that the Bank of England then still a semi-private institution and not an official central bank should use its reserves to prevent banking panics.

Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market by Walter Bagehot – Free Ebook

Macculloch, following Ricardo, used to teach that all old nations had a special aptitude for trades in which much capital is required. The only resource is the Bank of England. Bagehot on Overend, Gurney, and Co.: The evidence is all on the other side.

What I have to deal with is, for the present, ample enough. London bankers, other than the Bank of England, effect this in several ways. I can only say that the opinions now expressed have not been formed hastily or at a distance from the facts; that, on the contrary, they have been slowly matured in “Lombard Street” itself, and that, perhaps, as they will not be altogether pleasing to any one, I may at least ask for the credit of having been impartial in my criticism.

Lombard Street | work by Bagehot |

It assumes that what works most easily when established is that which it would be the most easy to establish, and that what seems simplest when familiar would be most easily appreciated by bagehpt mind though unfamiliar.

The nation itself—the Executive Government—names the governor and deputy-governor of the Bank of France. Only our familiarity blinds us to the marvellous nature of the system. Retrieved from ” https: