Lombard Street 1873

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Concerning the British financial system of 1873, Walter Bagehot wrote:”in exact proportion to the power of this system is its delicacy – I should hardly say too much if I said its danger…even at the last instant of prosperity, the whole structure is delicate. The peculiar essence of our financial system is an unprecedented trust between man and man; and when that trust is much weakened by hidden causes, a small accident may greatly hurt it, and a great accident for a moment may almost destroy it.”