PAN & ANA life member Tom Corey writes:
I believe Sweden issued the first paper banknotes from the Stockholms Banco, not England.
Tom's not the only one to have issues with the New Yorker article we discussed last week, although it wasn't claiming that paper money was
invented in England - the article opens with a discussion on paper money use in China centuries before the creation of the Bank of England.
The August 6, 2019 News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors mentioned an article by economist Joakim Book on the site of the
American Institute for Economic Research headlined "Egregious Errors in The New Yorker’s Account of Financial History." -Editor
Bank of England
Using history to shed light on present issues is trendy and tempting. But poor grasp of said history instead makes one’s reasoning embarrassing and
In the upcoming issue of the New Yorker, John Lanchester writes a long-form essay misleadingly titled “The Invention of Money,” where he attempts precisely
this: to weigh in on current questions about money and cryptocurrencies by looking at the financial and monetary past. Let’s just politely say that he
Lanchester is initially concerned with questions about what money is and how money "derives its value" — especially in regard to established
cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and new initiatives such as Facebook's Libra. He bundles that interest with a very confusing — and mostly misleading —
account of the early history of the Bank of England. And it does very little to shed light on questions of money.
There's a dissonance in Lanchester's error-filled essay, where the first third raises questions about money's value. If Lanchester is interested
in those questions, he is more than welcome to peruse the readings we assigned our students attending the Harwood Graduate Colloquium this week. That should
straighten out most of his confusion.
I won't get in the middle of a footnote-slinging battle between two authors, but here are links to the full pieces. The AIER article contains links to
supporting material. -Editor
To read the complete articles, see:
Egregious Errors in The New Yorker’s Account of Financial
The Invention of Money
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE INVENTION OF MONEY (https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n31a31.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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