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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.