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A History of Interest Rates: 322 Paperback – 15 August 2005
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From the Publisher
RICHARD SYLLA is Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets and a Professor of Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation at NYU's Stern School of Business. He is a past president of the Economic History Association and is a trustee of the Museum of American Financial History.
From the Inside Flap
The late Sidney Homer published the First Edition of A History of Interest Rates in 1963 because he believed that a comprehensive history of this universal and basic economic and commercial price was necessary. Now in its Fourth Edition, A History of Interest Rates has become a classic in the fields of economics and finance.
This one-of-a-kind guide presents a readable account of interest rate trends and lending practices spanning over four millennia of economic history. Filled with in-depth insights and illustrative charts and tables, this updated Fourth Edition provides a historical perspective of interest rate movements as well as a new chapter of contemporary material and added discussions of interest rate developments over the past ten years.
A sampling of eras and areas covered include:
- Ancient Times: Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome
- Medieval Times and Renaissance Europe: Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and more
- Modern Europe and North America to 1900: England, France, and other European countries, as well as the United States
- Europe and North America since 1900: England, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as Canada and the United States
- Other countries and regions in the 1900s: Japan, Russia, China, and Latin America
- Publisher : Wiley; 4th edition (15 August 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 736 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0471732834
- ISBN-13 : 978-0471732839
- Dimensions : 15.88 x 4.98 x 23.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 252,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Despite the fact that the book was released in 2005, it fulfills all the main expectations that you can possibly have in the field. Personally, I'd rather put that book in the category 'Business and Economics' if I were Wiley and not in Wiley Finance category.
Again what a trove treasury book! I highly recommend it for all!!!
The scale of importance of interest rates in the modern world is staggering if compared with the historical periods that are discussed in this book. Indeed, and this is brought out by the authors, interest rates in their words are "watched like a hawk", and millions of dollars are spent every year in interest rate modeling and analysis of fixed income securities such as bonds and mortgage-backed financial instruments. All investors, no matter which sector of the market they are involved in, have to monitor very closely the trends in interest rates.
The magnitude of interest rates can enable wars to be fought and lost, as is brought out brilliantly in this book. Legal philosophies and developments have also guided humans as to what is considered just compensation for lending, with rates in some cultures considered to be astronomical as compared to others. And the authors show that there have been periods where lending has barely occurred at all, with progress in such periods taking as expected a back seat. One cannot grow and flourish without taking risk, and lending risk is measured with the level of interest rates and their volatilities.
Many might say that economic and financial history cannot be romanticized. After all, economics is supposed to be the "dismal science". The authors do not intend to present such a romantic view, but they do so inadvertently perhaps. With all the conflicts that have been waged because of financial competition, with most of these conflicts being horrifying and in some cases completely destructive to the societies that waged them, lending encapsulates the need for humans to plan for the future. It exemplifies the attitude that the future holds promise, and solidifies a level of trust between borrower and lender. It allows both parties to assess their current position with what it will be in the future. And of course it is an axiom that it is always infinitely preferable to exchange coins rather than bullets.