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History of US Finance

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Does anyone here know of any good books that detail the financial history of the U.S.?

By financial history, I mean details on how investments performed, for what reasons, how investments have evolved over the time span, major financial events, etc.

I've read A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel, which, although a great book, only highlighted major investment events over the past 100 years in the U.S. (since financial history was not the primary subject of the book).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Check out the reading list of this NYU professor (I took one of his classes a couple of years ago)



I've only read excerpts from the Timberlake book, but understand that he's very antagonistic to central banking. The Robert E. Wright book provides some little known details about the relatively unexplored 1780-1850 period.

I'd expect all of these can be found at the Bobst Library, so you can scan them all to see if they've got what you're looking for. (Caution, there are more than 1 economists named "Robert E. Wright"). Sylla's own essays tend to focus on interest and money, but he's a central banking enthusiast, unfortunately.

I cannot recall exactly which books contained what, because Sylla put a lot of readings into his coursepack for the Financial History 2003.

Richard Salsman's publication "Breaking the Banks" has a good history of banking in the U.S., good ideas on why and how to end central banking, and a good appendix with references to other works about U.S. economic history.

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Thanks for the links with the lists and the other suggestions. I think I'm going to begin with Salsman's book, and then I'll head to Bobst and start figuring out where to go from there.

Unfortunately, the Undergrad Stern finance dept. doesn't offer a course specifically dedicated to financial history. Now that I'm getting into my finance classes, I've decided that I'd like to develop my understanding of financial history in order to put the ideas I'm learning now into context.

Thanks again.

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