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Capitals of Capital: A History of International Financial Centres, 1780-2005 Hardcover – January 22, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"...useful reading for anyone interested in the antecedents of today's vibrant international financial markets."
Foreign Affairs

"This is a truly scholarly work of synthesis...the breadth, scope and detail of the study must recommend it to scholars and students seeking an overview of the development of international financial and banking markets over the past two hundred years."
Catherine R. Schenk, EH.NET

"Youssef Cassis has written a highly readable narrative account of the emergence and changing fortunes of the world's leading international financial centers over the course of the last two hundred and twenty-five years. (The book, originally written in French, has been well served by the translator.) This is a topic that could easily degenerate into a dry recitation of percentage shares of this or that variable, market, or country, but that risk has been avoided here."
Forrest Capie, City University, London, Business History Review

"Anyone interested in the historical background of the world's most important international financial centers will prize this book enormously."
Robert E. Wright, Stern School of Business, New York University, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Book Description

This is the first comparative history of the financial centres that truly constitute the capitals of capital - New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore. Youssef Cassis charts their rise and fall and their central role in banking and finance from the industrial age to the present.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521845351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521845359
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Robinson on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author is without thesis, which is fine for a history book, of course, but the narrative of the book supposes a lot of things. I like my financial history books to have a decent amount of charts and graphs, to allow me to interpret some of the data for myself and tease out questions that I may seek answers for myself and formulate my own hypothesis; instead we are spoon feed the writer's weak and vague suppositions and tangents that generic at best.

One major problem I have with this book is the way aggregate data is little provided instead he replaces such critical information with "who's who" of I-banking. This book just proves to me again that financial historians should keep a good copy of their C.P. Kindleberger handy.

Finally, in his last chapter he claims boastfully that New York City is the financial capital of the world, but if has been conscious of the industry he would know that London has regained the title several years ago. But part of this discrepancy may be the fact that the stats the author uses stops at the year 2004, right about the time London regained its titled. This would be good for your library f you could pick up a copy for under $12 because neither is it critical but, its unlikely that you will even want to read it all the way through.
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