Presentation Title: Wild with the Spirit of Speculation

Section: Markets at the Margins II

Location: , 338

Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 11:55am - 12:10pm


The unforeseen outbreak of civil war in the United States in 1862 created a bottleneck in the global supply of raw cotton. The textile industries of Lancashire and Manchester relied on India to help resolve this scarcity. Consequently the price of cotton in India rose exponentially, fuelling a commodity bubble in Bombay, the heart of India colonial commerce at the time. The bubble intensified over the next three years and peaked in 1865. An in-depth examination of the events leading to the bubble suggests that systemic factors could were equally important in understanding how this situation evolved. My talk will explore how the arbitrary introduction of British financial innovations into the colonial Indian setting factored heavily in the destabilization of the latter’s economy. Moreover, the talk will focus on how disrupting the natural evolution of financial institutions can lead economies toward episodes of intense, devastating speculation.

Type of Presentation: Individual oral

Oral presenters
Presentation Area: History

Presentation Topic: Finance

Arts presenters

Class Project
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Presenter Information
Presenter(s): Menon, Anil R.
Major(s): History; Economics
Class Year(s): 2013

Sponsor(s): Prasch, Robert E.
Dept(s): Economics; History

Moderator: ,