Millionaire: The Philanderer, Gambler, and Duelist Who Invented Modern Finance

Simon and Schuster, 2001年2月21日 - 304 頁
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On the death of France's most glorious king, Louis XIV, in 1715, few people benefited from the shift in power more than the intriguing financial genius from Edinburgh, John Law. Already notorious for killing a man in a duel and for acquiring a huge fortune from gambling, Law had proposed to the English monarch that a bank be established to issue paper money with the credit based on the value of land. But Queen Anne was not about to take advice from a gambler and felon. So, in exile in Paris, he convinced the bankrupt court of Louis XV of the value of his idea.
Law soon engineered the revival of the French economy and found himself one of the most powerful men in Europe. In August 1717, he founded the Mississippi Company, and the Court granted him the right to trade in France's vast territory in America. The shareholders in his new trading company made such enormous profits that the term "millionaire" was coined to describe them. Paris was soon in a frenzy of speculation, conspiracies, and insatiable consumption. Before this first boom-and-bust cycle was complete, markets throughout Europe crashed, the mob began calling for Law's head, and his visionary ideas about what money could do were abandoned and forgotten.
In Millionaire, Janet Gleeson lucidly reconstructs this epic drama where fortunes were made and lost, paupers grew rich, and lords fell into penury -- and a modern fiscal philosophy was born. Her enthralling tragicomic tale reveals two great characters: John Law, with his complex personality and inscrutable motives, and money itself, whose true nature even to this day remains elusive.


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MILLIONAIRE: John Law--Philanderer, Gambler, Killer--and the Father of Modern Finance

用戶評語  - Kirkus

An engaging, enlightening biography of the Scottish financial genius Law (1671-1729), whose innovations created for 18th-century France a remarkable but evanescent economic boom.Gleeson (The Arcanum ... 閱讀評論全文

Millionaire: the philanderer, gambler, and duelist who invented modern finance

用戶評語  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In a marvelous follow-up to The Arcanum, Gleeson tells the story of "Jessamy John" Law, a brilliant mathematician, author, banker, womanizer, and killer who was condemned to die, escaped from prison ... 閱讀評論全文


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第 275 頁 - If we consider any one kingdom by itself, it is evident that the greater or less plenty of money is of no consequence; since the prices of commodities are always proportioned to the plenty of money, and a crown in Harry VII's time served the same purpose as a pound does at present.
第 191 頁 - At length Corruption, like a genera,! flood, (So long by watchful ministers withstood,) Shall deluge all ; and Avarice, creeping on, Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun ; Statesman and patriot ply alike the stocks, Peeress and butler share alike the box ; And judges job, and bishops bite the town, And mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown. See Britain sunk in Lucre's sordid charms, And France reveng'd of Anne's and Edward's arms!
第 38 頁 - When we came upon Highgate hill and had a view of London, I was all life and joy. I repeated Cato's soliloquy on the immortality of the soul, and my soul bounded forth to a certain prospect of happy futurity.
第 238 頁 - We were carried in open chairs by men used to scale these rocks and precipices, which at this season are more slippery and dangerous than at other times, and at the best are high, craggy, and steep enough to cause the heart of the most valiant man to melt within him.
第 84 頁 - Money is not the value for which Goods are exchanged, but the Value by which they are Exchanged: The use of Money is to buy Goods, and Silver while Money is of no other use.
第 76 頁 - A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table than when his wife talks Greek.
第 200 頁 - A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.
第 13 頁 - WITHIN the last twenty years commerce has been better understood in France than it had ever before been, from the reign of Pharamond to that of Louis XIV. Before this period it was a secret art, a kind of chemistry in the hands of three or four persons, who actually made gold, but without communicating the secret by which they had been enriched. The body of the nation were in such profound ignorance of this important secret that we had neither minister nor magistrate that knew what the words " annuities,"...
第 201 頁 - My shares which on Monday I bought Were worth millions on Tuesday, I thought. So on Wednesday I chose my abode ; In my carriage on Thursday I rode ; To the ball-room on Friday I went ; To the work-house next day I was sent.

關於作者 (2001)

Janet Gleeson is the author of the bestseller The Arcanum, as well as Millionaire, The Grenadillo Box, and The Serpent in the Garden. She lives with her family in Dorset.