Ten years of Lehman Brothers : “The dream “wonderful,” John Law “

Research. Celebrating the anniversary of the 2008 crisis, it is in fact a past event, one-time, now far away from us. By reducing it to its manifestation most striking-and most visible – the fall of Lehman Brothers and the financial crash that ensued – we forget that the crisis was part of a larger context of indebtedness, that it reflected the idea that home ownership for the credit would eliminate poverty, reduce inequality, and was an essential condition of the political support of the modern liberalism. A political project that deserves a real update in a critical perspective.

The “system” of Law is usually presented by the historians as something of an adventure in financial

The book of Arnaud Orain, The Policy of wonderful. Another story of the System of Law (1695-1795) (Fayard, 24 euros) gives us an example of one such analysis on a distant past but still present.

The “system” of Law is usually presented by the historians as something of an adventure in financial in which the regent Philippe of Orleans, successor of Louis XIV, commissioned in 1716, the Scotsman John Law the creation of a bank, whose notes will soon be legal tender.

The bank took over the Mississippi Company, chargéee of the trade in colonial America, and then other companies colonial, before resuming all of the “farms-general” (who collect the tax). The continuous rise of the price of its shares could convert the public debt colossal legacy of the wars of Louis XIV in the securities of the Company. But it collapsed soon, and the adventure ended in 1720 by a general panic which compels Law to exile.

The long time of a political project

Unlike the bulk of the historiography, Arnaud Orain refuses to confine the “system of Law” to this story of a financial bubble of short-term and analyze it as an accident,…

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