The state and the rise of speculative finance in England

Knafo, Samuel (2008) The state and the rise of speculative finance in England. Economy and Society, 37 (2). pp. 172-192. ISSN 0308-5147

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This article discusses the origins of the speculative configuration that has come to characterize English banking. It criticizes Gerschenkron's view that early nineteenth-century English banking developed relatively autonomously from manufacturing. Pointing out that he misunderstood the specific nature of English finance and the reasons that explained the later shift towards speculation, it shows how Gerschenkron and his followers have consistently underestimated the role of the state in shaping the nature of English finance. The main argument of the article is that state intervention was a decisive factor in shaping the nature of English finance. It proved crucial in initiating the divergence between English and continental finance, and contributed to the rise of modern banking in England. Finally, I argue that the speculative configuration of finance often associated with England was a late development of the nineteenth century that again reflected changes in the form of financial and monetary regulation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Samuel Knafo
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:26
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 10:21
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