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Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market Paperback – October 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438299400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438299402
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,564,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

People panicked during a credit crunch or economic downturn on London's Lombard Street of the 1800s just as they do on Wall Street today. That's only one reason this reprint of the classic book by famed 19th-century economist Walter Bagehot offers lessons even now. First published in 1873, the book is a compilation of 11 essays that Bagehot wrote as the editor of The Economist, and includes his advice to banks for dealing with financial crises: "We must keep a great store of ready money always available, and advance out of it very freely in periods of panic, and in times of incipient alarm. Any notion that money is not to be had, or that it may not be had at any price, only raises alarm to panic and enhances panic to madness."

In terms of the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis and the Asian economic meltdown of the 1990s, Bagehot's words still ring as timely, even with the dated references to British politics of the time. For example, he proposed allowing unstable banks to collapse and advocated creating an independent finance professional to run the nation's central bank. Lombard Street, named after London's financial district and the birthplace of the money market, will be an eye opener for students and others interested in the history and workings of financial systems. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"...classic account of the money market...makes vivid reading" (Spectator Business, November 2008) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Nord on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Walter Bagehot was the first editor of the now world-famous Economist magazine, which has in many ways remained faithful to the liberal philosophy (in a European sense)of its founder. Lombard Street might be difficult to read at first, but as with Charles Dickens once you get used to the style the tale is riveting. And his advice on how a central bank, as the lender of last resort, should behave in the face of a banking crisis remains valid to this day.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Tsafos on November 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Can a book about finance written in 1873 be helpful in a world with complex financial markets and plenty of information about how they work? The answer is yes. It is not that "Lombard Street" is a classic that one finds quoted many a time; the reader's interest should transcend historical inquiry or curiosity; "Lombard Street" should be read and revered by anyone interested in the underlying, abiding features of financial markets.
But what are those characteristics? Bagehot, then editor of The Economist, writes that credit centers on trust: "Credit means that a certain confidence is given, a certain trust reposed." And, banks always have on-demand liabilities that far exceed their readily available assets. In short, credit works on trust, and the system, in the absence of trust, can fall apart rapidly.
What follows from these premises is a careful examination of how the money market came about, what its uses are, how its operations are connected to trade and country's overall welfare, and, most importantly, how central banks can deal with financial crises. Written elegantly, "Lombard Street" is, at the same time, an introductory overview of the market and a trenchant analysis of its most salient features.
But what makes "Lombard Street" timeless is that it deals with finance in its human form. Bagehot talks about power, prestige and perception as much as he does about interest, discount, and credit. Trust is based on institutions and people: the human features of finance-trust, anxiety, mania, optimism-are timeless and apply to the financial markets of the nineteenth, twentieth, or twenty-first century. That is why "Lombard Street" is an ever useful introduction and guide.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Fred on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wiley Investment Classics generally fall into two categories, tough and dreary reads full of information, and lively entertaining accounts which also educate. Unfortunately, Mr. Bagehot and Mr. Bernstein's text is the former. The book does an outstanding job of promoting the importance of a strong central banking system and the importance of strict credit control when combating financial crises. However, it does so amidst extremely repetitive and somewhat painful language. The authors provide outstanding quantitative and anecdotal evidence supporting their case, but they do so in such a way that makes the book a true labor to read.
This book would be very beneficial to anyone doing research on, or working for some kind of central banking organization. Otherwise, I would suggest looking to any of the other Wiley Investment Classics for a more interesting and educational read about finance.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dean Scrimgeour on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. But this edition is extremely poorly produced. There are far too many typos, and little information about the original publication of the book, for example. The layout is ugly. It's great the book is cheap, but I wish I had paid a little more for a nicer version.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam Smith on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm about 1/3 into this book, and it's excellent. I wish I had read it many years ago. But I have to wince at the terrible job Echo Library did in printing it.

It's full of obvious missing spaces so that words run together, likethesewords.
This happens on almost every page. The author, Walter Bagehot, includes some actual balance sheets from the Bank of England as examples. Yet Echo Library fails to align the figures into columns. Instead it appears as a bunch of jibberish.

It appears that Echo Library somehow acquired a text file of the book, perhaps as a Word document or something, and then simply output that onto paper and binder, and then shipped the books, without even glancing at the results, let alone proof reading it.

Also, apparently to save paper, the publisher made the type size a bit small, and made the page column a bit wide. That saves paper alright, and makes it a thinner book, but it makes it harder to read. But it's still worth reading because Bagehot is so good.

MY RECOMMENDATION: It's an excellent writing by Bagehot, first class. But buy it by another publisher.
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