The Trilogy of Desire: The Financier; The Titan; The Stoic. - Theodore Dreiser

1912 - Harper &, New York - First Editions
A complete first edition set of Dreiser’s ‘Trilogy of Desire’, also known as ‘The Cowperwood Trilogy’, telling the life story of Charles T. Yerkes, renamed Algernon Cowperwood by Dreiser, a Philadelphia securities manipulator and streetcar magnate. ‘The Financier’, the first of the trilogy, in scarce and unrestored dust jacket.

‘It is Mr. Dreiser's constant probing of the intertwined needs for money, art, glory, sex and so much else that makes "
The Financier" the greatest of all American business novels.’ - The Wall Street Journal, 2012.

‘Dreiser laboriously researched the business practices and personal exploits of real-life robber baron Charles Yerkes to narrate Frank Algernon Cowperwood's early career in ‘
The Financier’, which explores the unscrupulous world of finance from the Civil War through the panic incited by the 1871 Chicago fire.’ (University of Illinois). Despite claiming complete ignorance about finance and an inability to make money, Dreiser presents a technical masterpiece. 
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Price HK$ 62,000



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



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



Fluctuations in the Price of Gold in 1863 - J. P. Howard

1863 - Snyder, New York - Entered according to an act of Congress in the year 1863 by J.P.Howard in the Clerk&rsquo
These are extraordinary times, and extraordinary measures must be resorted to in order to save our Government, and preserve our nationality.'

Obama? Trump? No, Governor Spaulding presenting a draft of the '
First Legal Tender Act' which President Lincoln signed in February 1862, in order to issue a 'limited' $150,000 of new treasury notes. The birth of the US dollar note as we know it and the first of three rounds over 24 months, which saw the limit rise to US$450,000. Why? To pay off enormous Government debt, caused by expenditure on the military, and also to counter the loss of faith in Government paper.

Here you have an extremely scarce original 1.5 metre long chart of gold prices over this period from January 1862 up to September 1863 (dimensions 150 x 45.5 cm). With notations of current events added (Iron Clad attack on Fort Sumter, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Surrender at Fort Hudson (the lowest point of the year), etc.). Folded and enclosed in the printer’s original gilt titled green cloth covers. In addition, tipped inside the front cover is a contemporary facsimile of a chart (37.8 x 22.6 cm) showing the fluctuation of iron, flour, and cotton prices from 1834-1859.

The gold chart follows the sharp fluctuations in the value of gold from 101 in January 1862 to a peak of 171 in March 1863. They dropped to 123 on the Surrender of Port Hudson on July 18th. Recovering and continuing up as the variation in prices tempted speculators and investors to buy gold bullion in order to protect against a decline in the value of the freshly printed paper money.

In the following years this rise continued until 1869, the first 'Black Friday' and the collapse of gold over a period of 48 hours, caused by one highly influential finance house with political assistance cornering the market, and a subsequent surge in Gold prices, the threat of flooding the market with Treasury owned gold (which they didn't actually have), the failed attempts to convert gold holdings (on paper), bank runs, riots, investors and speculators wiped out, stock market plummets, economy weakens and the rest is history, which yes does have a habit of repeating itself....
 
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Price HK$ 58,000



Billionaire - Inscribed - Peter James

1983 - W. H. Allen, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of Peter James best seller, signed and with nice and personal inscription from the author in large black pen on title page ‘Jan 28th, 1983, To a fine fellow Old-Carthusian (Without Prejudice) To my second Dad! With very best wishes, Peter’.

An ‘Old-Carthusian’ is a former pupil of Charterhouse, the British public school.

“City stockbroker Alex Rocq leads a comfortable life – with a luxury flat in London, a country cottage, a very expensive car, and a lucrative job that still leaves time for leisure. But all this isn’t enough. After receiving a tip-off, Alex decides to play the commodities market for himself. He soon learns the hard way that fortune doesn’t always favour the brave, and his luck comes to an abrupt end.

When he is offered the chance to write off his debts – in exchange for special services and silence – Rocq can’t believe his luck. But how far will a desperate man go to harness the power players around him?”
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



Temple Bar, or Some Account of ye Marygold, No. 1, Fleet Street - F. G. H. Price

1875 - Printed by Taylor and Francis, London - First Edition
A scarce, fine and inscribed first edition of the history of private banking house of Child & Co., one of the oldest private banks in the United Kingdom, who has traded from No. 1 Fleet Street since 1673, under the ‘Marygold’ sign.

This copy is inscribed from the author, F.G.H. Price to the Marquess of Tavistock, 8th Duke of Bedford, whose family had at that date been banking with Chlid & Co., for two centuries, the first Duke of Bedford opened his account in 1679.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



The Jungle - Upton Sinclair

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

‘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$ 9,400



Glibson - George Tichenor

1933 - Farrar &, New York - First Edition
Meet Mr. Glibson, a boomtime banker, who’s glided through depression and still lives high, wide and handsome......

This is the story of how he became the great Blabit of banking. The most withering portrayal of financial boobery in high places, savage, ruthless, funny, wise and courageous.


A kaleidoscopic view of many lives in the business turmoil leading up to and away from the crash of 1929. As Public Relations Counsel, later, banker, Glibson is successful because he stands for nothing and though he is unscrupulous and ambitious he is understandable and even likeable. The story is good reporting, good dialogue, sometimes honest and sometimes theatrical. Occasionally reminiscent of Dos Passos. A book for men, and may get a challenging sort of press. -
An early review. 
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Price HK$ 4,200