I had thought that Niall Ferguson would provide a more eccentric read.
What made an impression:
- "Every peso coin minted in Potosi has cost the life of ten Indians who have died in the depth of the mines."
- the Dutch being ruthless in Indochine.
- Rothchild snatched victory from the jaws of financial ruin by buying British bonds with his oversupply of gold. (He got his start supplying money to Wellington's army because he was good at smuggling silver.)
- The South lost the gamble when they created an artificial cotton shortage and then failed to secure the ports of New Orleans.
- "as secure as a Scottish widow"
- satirical plates commissioned by a Dutch merchant who was burned by Law's bubble in France
- The British spends 12% of their GDP on insurance.