Thunderbolt from a Clear Sky

  • Brian O’SullivanEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)


This chapter deals with the outbreak of war in 1914, which exposed the poor quality and high geographical concentration of the acceptance business of some firms. The inconsistent and, in some cases, inequitable treatment of firms of foreign origin by the City establishment is examined. The organisational frailty of many merchant banks was also exposed at this time with many firms still operating as family-controlled partnerships often within narrow ethnic groups. The war thereby hastened the failure or slow decline of a number of these merchant banking firms.


Moratorium 1914 financial crisis First world war Family-controlled business City establishment Accepting houses committee 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thomas Miller InvestmentKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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