The Triumph of Boring Banking

Peter Temin and Hans-Joachim Voth

in Prometheus Shackled

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199944279
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980789 | DOI:
The Triumph of Boring Banking

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Goldsmith banks achieved stability after the South Sea Bubble and grew without major problems for most of the eighteenth century. This chapter follows the growth of five goldsmith banks whose records have survived. They all show steady growth and high reserves to protect the banks from sudden withdrawals. The banks also had to maintain their growing organizations and the records of Hoare's Bank show how careful they were in managing staff as well as cash. The bank wanted employees of good character to forestall theft, and they used a variety of direct and indirect means, including what economists call “efficiency wages” to get good clerks. The chapter contains both statistics about bank growth in this placed period and examples that illustrate the bank's difficulties with customers and employees.

Keywords: Hoare's Bank; efficiency; wage; bank operations; dynasties; bank reserves

Chapter.  8490 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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