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Credit, confidence and the circulation of Exchequer bills in the early financial revolution

Graham, A; (2019) Credit, confidence and the circulation of Exchequer bills in the early financial revolution. Financial History Review , 26 (1) pp. 63-80. 10.1017/S0968565018000161. Green open access

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Abstract

The Exchequer Bills were a key component in Britain’s financial revolution of the 1690s. Using a range of archival sources not examined in previous work, this article argues that closer study of how these bills were given credit and circulation between 1696 and 1698 can offer a more nuanced reading of the mechanisms which helped to create credible commitment in this period. Though proper institutional design did help to give the bills credit, it was only one part of a wider series of informal measures used by the Treasury to secure subscribers for the fund for circulating the bills and to manage the emission of bills to prevent high discounts. This reflects the fact that credit and confidence in this period were influenced by a wide range of factors, including commercial advantage, patriotism and the example offered by other investors, all of which could be manipulated by the Treasury to promote the credibility of the Exchequer bills. Proper institutional and financial incentives were therefore not the only factors which could create credible commitment in Britain’s financial revolution.

Type: Article
Title: Credit, confidence and the circulation of Exchequer bills in the early financial revolution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0968565018000161
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0968565018000161
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Finance, Financial Revolution, Politics, Britain, Seventeenth Century, Early modern
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063505
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