“ drb对爱尔兰和国际事务保持了一定程度的评论,这在爱尔兰没有其他期刊,在其他地方很少有期刊可以发表。它应该得到所有的支持。” X
思考空间,一本庆祝都柏林建校十年的新书 更多信息 

叮当响的叮当声

安托万·墨菲

 

金钱上升:世界金融史,作者:尼尔·弗格森(Niall Ferguson),艾伦·莱恩(Allen Lane),442页,£25,ISBN:978-1846141065

Niall Ferguson is an erudite historian who has written a classic biography on the Rothschild family and so has the credentials to write a major work on money. Money, finance and the financial crises that we have experienced in recent times are worthy topics 对于 further historical exploration. Ferguson’s area of study is one that has not been overworked by the academic community. It is striking to note how few articles have been devoted to analysing the anatomies of financial crises in economic journals dominated by a multiplicity of articles on arcane and peripheral issues. This will of course change, albeit a little late 对于 those looking 对于 information on why markets rise and crash. 的 situation is somewhat similar with respect to books on the subject. When the most recent financial crisis started to develop in the summer of 2007 the search 对于 books dealing with previous financial crises produced meagre pickings. Charles Kindleberger’s important book 躁狂症,恐慌和崩溃 (1978)被下架了。许多媒体评论员急于阅读约翰·肯尼思·加尔布雷思’s 大崩溃 (1971年),一部时尚的作品,不幸的是其中并没有包含很多实质内容。凯恩斯’s 就业,利息和货币通论 (1936)再次进行了咨询,并在“长期期望状态”广泛引用。米尔顿·弗里德曼和安娜·施瓦兹’s 美国的货币史1867-1960 (1963)也被某些人重读 认知度, most notably Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve System. After that the cupboard containing books dealing with recent financial crises was quite bare, leaving some writers searching 对于 inspiration to reach back to that highly successful but massively inaccurate nineteenth century potboiler 非同寻常的大众妄想与人群的疯狂 查尔斯·麦凯(Charles Mackay)撰写。

的 reason 对于 the shortage of books on financial crises could be that in recent years many economic writers lost interest in such matters because first, some of them believed that the keys to controlling crises had been discovered through Friedman and Schwartz’致力于解决大萧条的原因,因此没有真正的担忧;第二,属于新古典宏观经济学方法的其他经济学家并不相信金融泡沫的可能性。后者是理性预期理论的付费订户,他们认为 经济人 是理性的 go 不会出现金融泡沫。在满足于撰写有关控制通货膨胀的方法和增加经济供应方产出的政策的文章之后,他们对我们最近的危机无话可说。凯恩斯认为他们已经在学术上被研究埋头了,因此必须复活,为经济学家提供一些政策举措,以应对第二次大萧条的到来。

在这种背景下,我寄予厚望,弗格森’s work might fill part of the gap in our knowledge of money and financial crises. It is not just a book but also the text 对于 a successful Channel Four television series, narrated by Ferguson himself. And therein lies the problem, since the finished work reads more like a television script rather than a printed book. 的re is an imbalance as the author uses material that is eminently suitable 对于 engaging the minds of a television audience but which appears a little thin when presented to a readership expecting detailed historical scholarship.

也许我可以通过专注于处理金融泡沫的章节来很好地说明这个问题,其标题明确。“Blowing Bubbles”。弗格森专注于约翰·劳’的密西西比系统,继而产生了南海泡沫。这个制度在法国兴起,当时约翰·劳(John Law)更加富有色彩,说服了摄政王菲利普·杜克(Philippe duc d)。’Orléans,在1716年创建了一家银行。

的 objective of the General Bank was to substitute paper money 对于 gold and silver coins. Law believed that by increasing the paper money supply it would be feasible to drive economic activity upwards. 的 title of his book, 货币与贸易于1705年出版,说明了一切。法律认为,金钱在经济中发挥着真正的作用,并且它是一种 考萨人 贸易。法’通用银行(后来成为皇家银行)是他针对法国的总体战略的第一部分’金币和银币的短缺反映了货币危机。然而,法律足够精明,足以使法国认识到法国还有另一个问题,即金融危机,其特征是公共部门债务的上层建筑高度失衡,这是挥霍无度,好战的路易十四所积累的。

路易死后,他已使法国破产,国际银行家要么拒绝向法国王室放贷,要么对每笔新贷款收取高昂的利率。法律着手解决这一金融危机,方法是向新成立的公司“西部公司”提供债券持有人的股份,该公司后来被称为密西西比州公司。股票是公司资产的抵押品,最显着的是它对法国路易斯安那州的垄断贸易让步,法国路易斯安那州如今是一块广阔的土地,约占美国一半(不包括阿拉斯加)。

法律希望通过建立公司来’公司在法国路易斯安那州的贸易让步,他将产生大量收入来支付公司的股息’股。发行股票最初是成功的,其价格从1717年的有效170里弗升至1720年1月初的10,000多里弗。巴黎是世界的中心’的第一个股市繁荣,例如法律’s success that he was appointed the equivalent of prime minister in early January 1720. This was quite an achievement 对于 a man with the reputation of a dandy, gambler and murderer (he had killed another dandy in a duel in London’的布卢姆斯伯里广场(1694年)。不幸的是,Law将系统推得太远,无法使用银行’发行纸币以将股票货币化。该制度从1720年5月开始崩溃,而劳很幸运地一生逃离了法国。

苏格兰人弗格森显然对法律着迷’的故事,并在其有关气泡的章节中投入了很大一部分。他多次引用我的作品, 约翰·罗伊(John Law)经济理论家和政策制定者 (Oxford University Press, 1997). However, in his search 对于 a good television script he has gone 对于 the easy story, stereotyping Law as a financial charlatan. In so doing so he has adopted the position of most Scottish historians and of famous Scottish economists such as David Hume and Adam Smith.

弗格森认为法律’s System had “产生气泡,否则会失败”. He refers to the “骗局是法律的核心’s confidence” and calls him a “con artist”。换句话说,他不希望将他视为严肃的理论家和政策制定者。这样做将是糟糕的电视。我在这里不同意他的观点,并相信如果他读过 货币与贸易 (1705)和 约翰·劳’土地储备论文 (写于1704年,1994年出版),他会发现劳是一位富有启发性的货币理论家,他的眼光比他的时代早了数百年。在1971年最终消除金本位的最后痕迹之前,法律就能够形象化并暂时实施基于纸币和银行信贷的经济体系。比所谓的苏格兰人早了几个世纪“enlightened”经济学家戴维·休ume(David Hume)和亚当·史密斯(Adam Smith)在形象化人类需要采用的金融体系类型时。他非常懂钱。通过改变简单的介词,他得出了一个很好的定义,他写道,金钱是商品交换的价值,而不是商品交换的价值。通过更换“for” with “by” he was able to show that money did not have to be intrinsically valuable. By this analysis Law was able to show that gold and silver were very limited 对于ms of money and that emphasis on them retarded the monetary progress of humanity. It is a great pity that Ferguson did not understand this and fell into the Scottish trap of regarding Law as a type of financial charlatan. If he does not accept my word 对于 Law’的光彩,觉得我正遭受那个可怕的传记作者的痛苦’s disease, 路易斯·波斯韦里亚纳,那么他或许可以看看经济思想史上最伟大的分析师约瑟夫·熊彼特(Joseph Schumpeter)的判断,他写道“自己上课” and that he “出色地算出了他的项目的经济学,是的,他的深造使他始终处于货币理论家的前列” (Schumpeter, 经济分析史(1954年)。

Niall Ferguson is a serious historian who has managed to popularise a difficult subject, namely money, and produce a television series and book 对于 a mass audience. This is no easy feat. He is to be congratulated, but he needs to avoid the characteristic defect of popularisers, that of rushing to facile judgements. He had a great opportunity to show that his fellow countryman 约翰·劳 was at the vanguard of the 金钱上升。他没有抓住这个机会,而是将他降级为信任骗子。一位伟大的苏格兰历史学家对一位更大的苏格兰经济学家来说是不利的。


安托万·墨菲是都柏林三一学院的经济学副教授。他的最新著作《宏观经济学的起源:从威廉·佩蒂爵士到亨利·桑顿的新思想》由牛津大学出版社于2008年12月出版。

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