Finance in History

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IN THIS REPORT

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If you are doomed to repeat history, let's hope you can pick your era. Once upon a time, business bankruptcies resulted in jail time (if you were lucky), treasurers defended their funds with a sword, and financial planning was tested by plagues and fire. Things improved during the American Revolution, when the father of our country also proved to be one of its best bookkeepers. But accounting couldn't keep up during the Industrial Revolution, with disastrous consequences for workers. If you tend to think of history as the third quarter of the last fiscal year, it may be time to learn a little bit more about your profession's checkered past.


FEATURED STORY
Finance in History: Pepys Show
The 17th-century business world revealed in Samuel Pepys's famous diary is not so far removed from our own.


MORE FINANCE THROUGHOUT THE AGES
Finance in History: Labor Days
The Lowell Mills offer a lesson in the perils of focusing on labor costs at the expense of technology.
Finance in History: Blood and Treasurers
Those who guard the crown jewels need good internal controls.
Finance in History: Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 may be tough, but it beats death, dismemberment, slavery, exile, prison, and other insolvency solutions.
Father and CFO of His Country?
He won the Revolution and served as our first President. But George Washington also kept financial records that would make a modern CFO proud.
A Short History of Hedge Funds
From Aristotle to Amaranth, the funds have lured investors with dreams of heady profits and terrified them with nightmares of risk.

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