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Palgrave Macmillan

Calming the Storms

The Carry Trade, the Banking School and British Financial Crises Since 1825

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  • © 2023


  • Provides a new explanation for the rise and fall of British financial stability over the past two centuries
  • Explores the relationship between monetary policy and financial crises in Britain over the past two centuries
  • Examines the role of the Carry Trade in British financial history

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Economic History (PEHS)

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Table of contents (10 chapters)


About this book

This book exposes, for the first time in modern scholarship, the role that the rise of the Carry Trade played in British financial crises between 1825 and 1866, how in reaction the Bank of England improved its management of monetary policy after 1866 and how those lessons have been forgotten since the 1970s. Britain is one of the few major capitalist economies in the world to have avoided policy-induced systemic financial crises for more than 100 years of its history—between 1866 and 1973. Beforehand, it suffered a series of serious banking panics, in 1825, 1837, 1847, 1857-58 and 1866. Since the 1970s banking instability has returned again, with the global financial crisis of 2007-09 hitting Britain hard. Economists and policymakers have asked what can be learnt from Britain’s experience of the disappearance and reappearance of crises to help efforts to prevent future ones. This book answers that question with a major reassessment of Britain’s financial history over the past two centuries. It does so by applying the long-neglected ideas of the British Banking School to explain how crises can occur because of the Carry Trade. This book is essential reading for economists and historians of modern Britain, practitioners and policymakers, as well as anyone who is affected by financial crises and their consequences.


“Is Charles Read this generation’s John Maynard Keynes? Because with ‘Calming the Storms’ the astonishingly erudite author has already staked a claim to be Cambridge’s avatar economist for the 21st century.” (Cambridge Independent)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    Charles Read

About the author

Charles Read is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in History and an Affiliated Lecturer in Economics and History at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow, Tutor, College Lecturer and Director of Studies at Corpus Christi College and a Research Associate at the Centre for Financial History at Darwin College. His previous research has won the Thirsk-Feinstein PhD Dissertation Prize, the T.S. Ashton Prize, and the New Researcher Prize of the Economic History Society and a prize from the International Economic History Association for the best doctoral dissertation completed in 2015, 2016 or 2017. He has also worked as a writer and editor at The Economist and as a research associate at an investment bank in London.

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