The Financial History Seminar runs mainly in the Lent term.  All seminars are open to the public.

Financial History Seminars are held at 5pm at Darwin College unless otherwise stated. The most up-to-date information is available on our page at

Lent 2024

12 February: Sir Tim Lankester (University of Oxford)  Inside Thatcher’s monetarism experiment – the promise, the failure, the legacy.

19 February: Kofi Adjepong-Boateng CBE (University of Cambridge)  The long road to the Bank of Ghana, 1825-1966.

26 February: David Neckar (WTW Financial Solutions)  How insurers learned to stop worrying and love regulation: a City insurance man’s view of how the insurance market discovered the world of Basel and became a key risk partner for banks.

11 March: Stephen Quinn (Texas Christian University) and Will Roberds (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta) How a ledger became a central bank: a monetary history of the Bank of Amsterdam

Lent 2023

30 January: Dr Alain Naef (Banque de France)  An exchange rate history of the United Kingdom, 1945–1992

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

13 February: Dr Claire Wilkinson (University of Cambridge)  What’s in a Bubble? The South Sea Bubble and the conceptual history of financial crisis

27 February: Professor Susan Howson (University of Toronto)  The Meade Committee on UK Tax Reform 1975-8

13 March: Martin Vander Weyer (The Spectator)  Big Bang ruined the City: how 1980s reforms caused the 2008 financial crisis and all that followed

Lent and Easter 2022

31 January: Dr Nigel Bowles (Oxford),  The politics of money: Presidential power and the Federal Reserve System

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

14 February: Mario Pisani (HM Treasury),  Who finances the financiers? Twenty years of HM Treasury resource accounts

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

14 March: Dr Linda Arch  (ICMA Centre, University of Reading),  The Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath: a perspective from fiction and some general reflections on inter-disciplinary research

28  March: Dr Colm Murphy (Institute of Historical Research),  Protectionism, deindustrialisation and European integration: the crisis of British Keynesianism revisited, 1973-1993

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

10 May: Dr Rosa Hodgkin (Institute for Government),  Popular attitudes to taxation in Britain c. 1945-1992: reassessing the evidence

13 May: John Roy Price (former Special Assistant to President Nixon),  The Last Liberal Republican: An Insider’s Perspective on Nixon’s Surprising Social Policy

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

Michaelmas 2021

2 November: Professor David Fox (Edinburgh), ‘Locating cryptocurrencies in the Western legal tradition’ (Core Seminar in Economic and Social History)

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.  Here is a copy of the handout.

Easter 2021

3 May: Dr Jenny Pleinen, German Historical Institute (London) , ‘The landed gentry in British politics after World War II: from taxed decadence to subsidized cultural heritage
(5pm, Zoom).

10 May: Professor Shalva Weil, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ‘Opium, Tea and Cotton: The Rise and Fall of the Sassoon Dynasty in South East Asia
(5pm, Zoom).

Lent 2021

1 February: Professor Charles Goodhart (LSE) and Dr Manoj Pradhan (Talking Heads Macro), ‘The Great Demographic Reversal: ageing societies, waning inequality, and an inflation

15 February: Dr Peter Sloman (University of Cambridge), “Where’s the money coming from?”  Manifesto costings and fiscal credibility in British general elections, 1955-2019′
(5pm, Zoom).

1 March: William Allen (NIESR), Poland, the international monetary system and the Bank of England, 1921–1939
(5pm, Zoom).

15 March: Dr Eleanor Hallam (HM Treasury and Centre for Financial History), ‘HM Treasury and its management of the Financial Crisis, 2007-2009
(5pm, Zoom).

Lent and Easter 2020

27 January: Professor Martin Daunton, University of Cambridge and Dr Marc Buggeln, ‘Fiscal reform in Britain and Germany since 1945
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

3 February: Professor Peter Scott, Henley Business School, University of Reading‘The anatomy of Britain’s inter-war super-rich: reconstructing the 1928 ‘millionaire’ population
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

10 February: Dr Anthony Hotson, ‘City financiers as patrons in the later seventeenth century
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

Tuesday 25 February: Sir Anthony Seldon, University of Buckingham, ‘Three hundred years of Prime Ministers, 1721-2021: how has the office survived and adapted?
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

9 March: James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, ‘Walter Bagehot: the life and times of the greatest Victorian
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

11 May: Dr Craig McMahon (Villanova University) and Dr Rasheed Saleuddin (Judge Business School), ‘Sharing the blame for the Great Depression: The Federal Advisory Council, 1918-36.
(5pm, Zoom owing to the lockdown).

Click here to watch the Zoom recording of this seminar.

Lent 2019

28 January: David Pitt-Watson, Judge Business School, ‘The Scottish Ministers’ Widows’ Fund: the world’s first soundly-funded pension plan
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

11 February: Nicholas Dimsdale, University of Oxford, ‘Taxes and growth: new narrative evidence from interwar Britain
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

25 February: Dr John Gent, ‘Bankers with different ‘golden dreams’: bank business models and the British money supply in the early Industrial revolution
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

11 March: Walter Jansson, Bank of England, ‘Economic uncertainty over the long run: a natural language processing approach
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

Easter 2018

7 May: Dr Rasheed Saleuddin, UCL and Centre for Financial History, ‘Efficient derivatives pricing before Black, Scholes and Merton: evidence from the interwar London Metals Exchange
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

14 May: Graham Turner, GFC Economics.‘What would Keynes make of Trump’s economic policies?
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

Lent 2018

5 February: Dr Alejandra Irigoin, London School of Economics, ‘Bullion or specie? The role of Spanish American silver coins in Europe and Asia throughout the 18th century
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

12 February: Dr Aaron Graham, University College London,  ‘Britain, Jamaica and the modern global financial order, 1800-50
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

26 February: Professor Daisuke Ikemoto, Meiji Gakuin University and Darwin College, ‘Not Maggie’s fault?  The reemergence of global finance 
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

Tuesday 13 March: Professor Ian Phimister, University of the Free State, ‘Bears, Bulls and Boers: market making and Southern African mining finance, 1894-99
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College) – joint event with African History seminar.

Lent 2017

30 January: Oliver Bush, Bank of England and London School of Economics,  ‘UK monetary and credit policy around the Radcliffe Report
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

13 February, Dr Brian O’Sullivan, Kings College London,  ‘The London merchant banks and the road to the 1931 crisis

27 February, Dr Duncan Needham, Centre for Financial History, ‘Why did Britain have broad money supply targets?’

13 March, Dr Felix Martin, Institute for New Economic Thinking and Centre for Global Studies, ‘Money: the unauthorised biography

Lent and Easter 2016

25 January: Professor  Janette Rutterford, The Open University Business School, ‘Individual investors in the late nineteenth century: what did they invest in, and why?’
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

8 February: Dr Anthony Hotson, University of Oxford, ‘Respectable banking: the search for stability in London’s money and credit markets since the great currency crisis of 1695’
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

22 February: Professor  Jonathan Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania, ‘The end of the Swiss economic model’
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

7 March: Sabine Schneider, University of Cambridge, ‘The ‘Bimetallic Controversy’ and the golden age of monetary orthodoxy, 1880-1900′ 
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

25 April: Professor Zorina Khan, LSE and Bowdoin College, Maine, ‘Related investing: corporate ownership and the dynamics of capital mobilization during industrialization’
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

Easter 2015

23 April: William Keegan CBE, Senior Economics Commentator, The Observer newspaper,   ‘Mr Osborne’s economic experiment’
(6pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

6 May: Dr Mike Finn, Director of the Centre for Education Policy Analysis ‘The Coalition Effect, 2010-2015’
(7pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

11 May: Professor Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley,  ‘Doctrinal determinants of Federal Reserve policy, 1914-34’
(5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

25 May: Professor Bjørn L. Basberg, Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen,  ‘Keynes, Trouton and the Hector Whaling Company’
(5pm, Seminar Room, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

Lent 2015

19 January: Dr Natacha Postel-Vinay, University of Warwick,  ‘What caused Chicago bank failures in the Great Depression? A look at the 1920s’ (5pm, Seminar Room 1, Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

2 February: Mr Rasheed Saleuddin, Corpus Christi College and CFH, ‘Going beyond ‘market versus state’: ideological struggles in explaining the existence and longevity of the 1922 Grain Futures Act’ (5pm, Seminar Room 1, Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

9 February: Dr David Gill, University of Nottingham, ‘Rating the United Kingdom: The British government’s first sovereign credit ratings’ (5pm, Seminar Room 1, Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

9 March: Professor Forrest Capie, Cass Business School,  ‘British financial crises in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ (5pm, Old Library, Darwin College).

Michaelmas 2014

5 November: Professor Robert Z. Aliber, University of Chicago Booth School of Business,  ‘The international monetary arrangement is dysfunctional: surges in cross-border investment flows are the source of financial turbulence.’ (5pm, Seminar Room 1, Newnham Terrace, Darwin College).

12 November: Dr Eoin McLaughlin, University of St Andrews., ‘State dissolution, sovereign debt and default: lessons from Irish independence.’ (joint seminar with Modern Irish History seminar, 5pm in Seminar Room 2, Chapel Court, Sidney Sussex)

Easter 2014

5 May: Mr Edmond Smith, University of Cambridge, History Faculty, ‘Crowdfunding an early modern startup: mapping investment in the East India Company’

26 May: Dr Christopher Coyle, Queen’s University Belfast,  ‘This time is different: causes and consequence of British banking instability over the long run (1830-2010).’

2 June: Professor William Allen. Cass Business School, ‘Monetary policy and financial repression in Britain, 1951-1959.’

9 June: Professor Jacob Soll, University of Southern California, ‘Jacques Necker’s Compte rendu au roi (1781) and the Transformation of Modern Political Discourse’

Lent 2014

20 January: Professor Richard Roberts, KCL, ‘Saving the City: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914’

3 February: Mr Paul Kosmetatos, Darwin College and CFH, ‘Contagion and Intervention in the 1772-3 Credit Crisis’

17 February: Mr Charles Read, Christ’s College and CFH,  ‘The Irish Famine and British Financial Crisis c.1846-50’

3 March: Professor Jim Tomlinson, University of Glasgow,  ‘The political economy of inflation in the 1970s’

Easter 2013

29 April: Professor Leslie Hannah, LSE and Tokyo, ‘A Global Census of Corporations in 1910’

13 May: Mr Adrian Leonard, Trinity Hall and CFH, ‘The Pricing Revolution in Marine Insurance, 1600-1824’

27 May: Dr Ali Kabiri, University of Buckingham. ‘The Disappearing Equity Risk Premium on the 1920s NYSE’

19 June: Professor Abe de Jong, RSM Erasmus University ‘Predicting the Past: Understanding the Causes of Bank Distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s’

Lent 2013

Monday 04 March: Dr Tiago Mata, HPS, Cambridge, ‘Scandal!: American business magazines in the Great Depression’

Monday 18 February: Mr Adrian Williamson, Trinity Hall. ‘Farewell to Prices and Incomes Policy’

Monday 04 February: Professor Mary O’Sullivan, University of Geneva, ‘Of Rules and Exceptions: Financing a Modern Steel Industry in the United States, 1865-1888’

Monday 21 January: Professor Joost Jonker, Utrecht University, ‘The formative years of a modern corporation: the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1623’

Easter 2012

12 May: Dr William H. Janeway, Centre for Financial Analysis and Policy and Pembroke College, ‘’The Role of Venture Capital in the Innovation Economy’

28 May: Dr D’Maris Coffman, Centre for Financial History, Newnham College, ”Re-thinking the origins of the British public debt, 1643-1742′

11 June: Dr Anne Murphy, University of Hertfordshire, The Market for Bank Stocks and the Rise of Deposit Banking in New York City, 1866-1897′

Lent 2012

Monday 23 January 2012: Dr Tony Moore, University of Reading, ICMA Centre, ‘Inventing a Secondary Market for Sovereign Debt in Later Medieval England’

Monday 06 February 2012: Dr Rik Frehen, Tilburg University, Department of Finance, ‘New Evidence on the First Financial Bubble’

Monday 20 February 2012: Dr David Chambers, Judge Business School, ‘The First Global Emerging Markets Investor: The Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust, 1870-1913’

Monday 05 March 2012: Dr Olivier Accominotti, London School of Economics, ‘Asymmetric Propagation of Financial Crises During the Great Depression’

Monday 19 March 2012: Professor Larry Neal, Cambridge Finance Visitor, NBER, ‘The Economy of Spain in the Eurozone Before and After the Crisis of 2008’

Easter Term, 2011

02 May: Professor Jim Bolton (School of History, QMUL), ‘An italian bank and its international and local credit networks: Filippo Borromei & company of Bruges and London in the 1430s’

16 May: Dr Eoin McLaughlin (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh), ‘Regulatory Capture in Microfinance: The Irish Loan Fund Board, 1860-1914’

23 May: Dr Elisa Newby, Bank of Finland, ‘’Midas, transmuting all, into paper’: the Bank of England and the Banque de France during the Napoleonic Wars’

30 May: Professor Michael Dempster, Centre for Financial Research, ‘Financial innovation and the crisis’

13 June: Professor Peter Rousseau, Vanderbilt University, The Market for Bank Stocks and the Rise of Deposit Banking in New York City, 1866-1897′

Lent Term, 2011

24 January: Dr Luke Samy (Winton Institute, Oxford), ‘The Paradox of Success: Building Societies and their risk-taking behaviour in England, c. 1880-1939’

07 February: Professor Nathan Sussman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), ‘Institutions, Deficits or Wars, on the determinants of the borrowing costs of the British government: 1688-1850 and beyond’

28 February: Professor Pablo Martín-Aceña (Universidad de Alcalá , Madrid), ‘Regulatory responses to financial crises: Spain, 1850-2000’

07 March: Dr Helen Paul (Economics, University of Southampton), ‘The South Sea Bubble of 1720: rational bubble or gambling mania’

Michaelmas Term, 2010

11 October 2010: Dr David Chambers (Judge Business School), ‘The Value of Regulation and Reputation: Going Public in London and Berlin, 1900-1913’

25 October 2010: Mr Chris Colvin (London School of Economics, Department of Economic History), ‘God and risk: The role of religion in rural cooperative banking in early twentieth-century Netherlands’

8 November 2010: Dr Duncan Connors (University of Glasgow) (to be held in Sidgwick Hall), ‘Blissfully Ignorant: The Rôle of State Financial and Managerial Assistance in the Decline of the British Shipbuilding Industry, 1945-1980’

22 November 2010: Professor Elroy Dimson (London Business School), ‘Ex post: The investment performance of collectible stamps 1865-2008

6 December 2010: Dr Rui Pedro Estevez (Oxford University, Department of Economics), ‘The Belle Epoque of International Finance: French Capital Exports, 1880-1914’

13 December 2010: Dr Carsten Burhop (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods), Stock market development in Germany: 1869-1925′

Easter 2010

17 May 2010: Professor Claudia Rei, Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, ‘Labor Compensation in the Portuguese and Dutch Merchant Empires’

24 May 2010: Professor Catherine Schenk, Economic and Social History, Glasgow University, ‘Reforming the Global Reserve System – Historical Perspectives’

7 June 2010: Professor Ranald Michie, Department of History, University of Durham, ‘Jewish Financiers in the City of London: Reality and Rhetoric, 1830-1914’

21 June 2010: Professor Shigeru Wakita, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, ‘Efficiency of the Dojima rice futures market in Tokugawa-period Japan’

Lent 2010

11 January 2010: Professor Larry Neal (LSE), ‘Reflections from the Mirror of Folly: Lord Londonderry and the Stock Market Bubbles of Paris, Amsterdam and London in 1720.’

25 January 2010: Professor Ann Carlos (University of Colorado and University College Dublin), ‘Bankruptcy and Debtor’s Rights in Early Modern England: Punishment to Rehabilitation’

8 February 2010: Professor Sevket Pamuk (The London School of Economics), ‘Ottoman State Finances in European Perspective, 1500-1914’

15 February 2010: (Economics Faculty, University of Cambridge) Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie, Dr Markus Küpker, and Dr Janine Maegraith, ‘Household Finance in Early Modern Germany: Evidence from Personal Inventories’

15 March 2010: Dr David Chambers (Judge Business School), ‘Keynes, the Investor’

Michaelmas 2009

12 October 2009: Professor Geoffrey Wood (Cass Business School), ‘Shattered on the Rock? British Financial Stability from 1866 to 2007.’

2 November 2009: Professor Tom Safley (History Department, UPenn), ‘The Hochstetter Bankruptcy of 1529 and the Market for Quicksilver (Mercury) in early modern Europe.’

16 November 2009: Ms Claudia Scala (Manuscript Cataloguer, Henry Charles Lea Library), ‘Exploring the Medici-Gondini Ledgers in the Henry Charles Lea Library.’

16 November 2009: Mr Duncan Needham (Cambridge, History Faculty, Trinity Hall), ‘The political economy of Competition and Credit Control .’

30 November 2009: Dr Vincent Bignon (EconomiX, University of Paris – Nanterre), ‘The economics of badmouthing: Defamation, racketering and the French Financial Press at the end of the 19th century.’

7 December 2009: Professor Charles Calomiris (Columbia Business School), ‘Historical Banking Crises and Lessons for Today: How the British Ended Banking Crises in the Mid-19th Century.’