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A History of Interest Rates (Wiley Finance)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The purpose of this book is to seek out, record, and analyze the prevailing rates of interests themselves over a centuries-long period in many countries.
Kindle Edition, 736 pages
Published December 10th 2007 by Wiley (first published 1977)
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Have finally, finally plodded through this book. 'A History' is dry and reads like a reference text; there a lots of tables and some charts, and each chapter and section begins with an overview and brief analysis that is often the best part. Otherwise this is largely simply data -- good to know its there for retrieval if necessary, but otherwise skimmable. A financial classic it may be, but the chief benefit I have obtained from getting through it appears for now to be able to say that I have.

Given the book covers more than four centuries worth of history, it seems like the most comprehensive place to look for answers.

With large parts of the developed world experiencing negative interest rates, I was looking for a time in history when there was negative interest rates but sadly I couldn’t find any.

The closest period was in the US during the early 1940s. Even then short term interest rates seemed to bottomed at zero while long term interest rates hovered around 2-3%.

So if you were p
Lewis Johnson
This book should be required reading for all investors. Not just bond investors but all investors. Mr. Homer pioneered the thoughtful study of bonds and interest rates. This book is his Magnum Opus, covering interest rates from early Mesopotamia to this death in the 1990s.

Interest rates are at the core of the capital markets and as such represent the core of the all the major movements in the world's financial markets, as trends propogate out from the less risky tranches of the bond market, to t
J Keefer
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: This review is for the third edition, from 1991.

Previously I reviewed Ryan North's How to Invent Everything, which I characterized as a history of the world through the lens of technology. I consider this book, Homer and Sylla's "A History of Interest Rates", to be a history of the world through the lens of interest rates.

The book was dry but informative. It touched on many historical topics, including usury policy in different jurisdictions over the past few millennia, how war and peace a
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 24, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
J  Brown
I used this book to help facilitate my first Finance class. It was helpful. It was very informative.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What my ratings mean:
5 – I felt this book was an exemplar in its genre/field. That does not mean I agree with everything it says (or the moral of the story). It is likely to be a book that will change my thinking about a topic.
4 – A very impressive book for its genre/field. It probably didn’t change me or my thinking though.
3 – An enjoyable way to spend the time reading it.
2 – This was a pain to read. It was probably difficult to finish.
1 – Life’s too short and/or I’m not smart enough to get the
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me several months to really go over this book. Many readers might think it is dry since there are so many numbers and details in the book. But that's indeed the biggest contribution made by this work. If you get patient and journey through the narratives with your own questions, then you probably find it intriguing. ...more
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