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Investigation Into the Causes of the Gold Panic. Report of the Majority of the Committee on Banking and Currency. March 1, 1870 - James A. Garfield

1870 - Government Printing Office, Washington - First Edition
House of Representatives, 41st Congress, second session, Report No. 31.

‘…on the 23rd of September the market had risen to 162; the Treasury decided to sell four millions of gold; and within fifteen minutes the price fell from 160 to 133. A conspiracy was alleged with government officials, including even President Grant, directly or indirectly engaged.’

Black Friday, September 24, 1869 was caused by two speculators’ efforts, Jay Gould and James Fisk, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange, with the alleged encouragement and the accused involvement of President Ulysses S. Grant.

This is the important and rare report and transcripts of the subsequent dramatic Congressional investigation, which was chaired by James A. Garfield. The investigation was alleged on the one hand to have been limited because Virginia Corbin and First Lady Julia Grant were not permitted to testify. Garfield's biographer, Alan Peskin, however, maintains the investigation was quite thorough. Garfield was chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency at the time (later the twentieth U.S. President, but assassinated only four months into his term).

The investigation was set up to examine the following topics:
First. The Gold Exchange and the Gold Exchange Bank; their history, the character of their ordinary operations, and their relations to the gold panic of September. Second. The alleged conspiracy of September, to raise the price of gold; the persons engaged in it, and the instrumentalities made use of. Third. Whether any officers of the national government were directly or indirectly engaged in the alleged conspiracy.  
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Price HK$ 7,500



The History and Principles of Banking - James William Gilbart

1834 - Longman, London - First Edition
A nice clean copy of one of Gilbart’s influential and highly regarded works.

The writings of James William Gilbart, a succesful banker himself, have become classics of the profession’s literature and his name was permanently linked to banking education through the Gilbart Lectures at King’s College, London.

Divided into three sections:
The History of Banking; The Constitution of Banks; and The Principles of Banking.

This copy was once owned by Alexander Bankier Rodger [1895-1961] one of a group of well know History Professors at Balliol, Oxford [Fellow 1924-61]
 
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Price HK$ 7,000



An Essay Upon Money and Coins - Joseph Harris

1757-58 - Sold by G. Hawkins at the Middle Temple Gate, London - First Edition
A finely bound first edition of ‘this influential 1757 work, considered by the Victorian economist J. R. McCulloch as 'one of the best and most valuable treatises on the subject of money that has ever seen the light', argues that it is vital to a country's economy that the value of precious metal in its coinage remains constant’ – Cambridge University Press.

‘One of the best eighteenth-century performances in the field of monetary analysis’. – Schumpeter,
History of Economic Analysis. 
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Price HK$ 13,000



A Week in Wall Street. By One Who Knows - Frederick Jackson

1841 - Published for the Booksellers, New York - First Edition
Rare and desirable first edition of one of the earliest works on Wall Street written as New York emerged from the Panic of 1837, in the publisher’s original pink boards, without restoration or rebinding.

Jackson describes the Wall Street of his day, with advice and satirical wit directed not only at the brokers and bankers who ran the street, but at the ‘flunkys’ or sheep who are forever being shorn (Jackson being one of them). Among the chapters that add importance to this treatise is the one describing what a panic is, how it starts, and what its consequences are.

The author sums up the two main species in the market ‘
a Bear means a man who has no shares in the Stocks–one stripped–in an em-bar-assed condition . . . a Bull means a man who has more shares than he can keep, and has gored his neighbor to procure them.’ [The Devil’s Financial Dictionary, Zweig] 
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Price HK$ 34,500



Principles of Political Economy - John Stuart Mill

1848 - John W. Parker, London - First Edition
The brilliant John Stuart Mill's major work, a treatise that marked the culmination of classical economics, and was considered ‘the undisputed bible of economic doctrine’. One of the most widely read of all books on economics in the nineteenth century. As Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations had during an earlier period, Mill's text dominated economics teaching; In the case of Oxford University it was the standard text until 1919, when replaced by Alfred Marshall's theories.

‘To many generations of students, Mill’s
Principles was the undisputed bible of economic doctrine. They represented the final synthesis of classical theory and of refinements introduced by post-Ricardian writers. They were comprehensive, systematic, and, with few exceptions, they presented their theorems without pugnacity which strengthened the impression of assurance and unquestioned authority’ – Roll, History of Economic Thought. 
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Price HK$ 30,000



The Open Society and its Enemies. Volume I - The Spell of Plato; Volume II - The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath - Karl R. Popper

1945 - George Routledge & Sons, London - First Edition
A fine set, produced on the same poor ‘Economy Standard’ paper as used for George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ of the same year. In the bright and scarce delicate dust jackets.

‘A work of first-class importance which ought to be widely read for its masterly criticism of the enemies of democracy, ancient and modern.’ – Bertrand Russell.

‘One of the most important books of the twentieth century, Karl Popper's
The Open Society and Its Enemies is an uncompromising defense of liberal democracy and a powerful attack on the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. An immediate sensation when it was first published in two volumes in 1945, Popper's monumental achievement has attained legendary status on both the Left and Right and is credited with inspiring anticommunist dissidents during the Cold War. Arguing that the spirit of free, critical inquiry that governs scientific investigation should also apply to politics, Popper traces the roots of an opposite, authoritarian tendency to a tradition represented by Plato, Marx, and Hegel.’ – Princeton University Press.

Sir Karl R. Popper (1902-94) was an Austrian-British philosopher, widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science. He taught at Canterbury University, New Zealand as a lecturer in philosophy during the war years, it was here he wrote
The Open Society and its Enemies, and upon its publication he moved to the London School of Economics and later became Professor of Logic and Scientific Method at the University of London. 
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Price HK$ 26,000



The Jungle - Upton Sinclair

1906 - Doubleday, New York - First Edition
‘Pierces the thickest skull and most leathery heart.’ - Winston Churchill

A fine example of the first edition, with none of the usual rubbing and loss to the white lettering, or foxing to the pages that is usually encountered.

‘The brutally grim story of a Slavic family who emigrates to America,
The Jungle tells of their rapid and inexorable descent into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and social and economic despair.

‘Sinclair's nightmarish narrative of the immigrant Rudken family instigated a series of legislative measures that were highly successful. His lurid scenes of a meat packing industry that ground both rates and fingers into sausage aroused the middle class to demand sanitary conditions for food preparation.

Yet far less effective by comparison was his severe indictment of the working conditions that regularly reduced laborers to impoverished insanity. As Sinclair later wryly observed, “
I aimed for the heart and hit the stomach of America”.’ – Emory Elliot, The Columbia Literary History of the United States. 
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Price HK$ 15,000



An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith, J. R. McCulloch

1863 - Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh - New Edition, Revised, Corrected, and Improved
A finely bound McCulloch edition illustrated with two full page engraved plates. Published a year before McCulloch’s death, revised to include additional notes on the abolition of the corn laws, important changes in British commercial policy introduced by Sir Robert Peel, and ‘the unfortunate contest that is now being carried on with so much bitterness in the United States’. With McCulloch’s ‘Sketch of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith’, and his ‘Introductory Discourse’.

First ‘published in the same year as the American Declaration of Independence it has been argued that the global effect of Smith’s work has exceeded that of American constitutionalists. And if the wealth of a nation or a people is the foundation of all else, then from Hong Kong and Shanghai to Peru, from the oil and gas fields of Russia to the United States itself, from Estonia to Australia, it can be claimed that the principles and economic dynamics at work in all these places come from a book by a scholar of Scotland published before the French Revolution, before the Industrial Revolution and eighty four years before
Das Kapital by Karl Marx.’ - Melvyn Bragg – 12 Books That Changed the World. 
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Price HK$ 5,500



 
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