Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

Walter Bagehot James Grant Cato Events Monetary History banking crises banking theoryHow should central bankers provide aid to struggling financial institutions during a panic? Ask 19th-century economic theorist Walter Bagehot. Or, if you can't do that, ask his biographer: acclaimed author, publisher, and monetary scholar James Grant.

Join Grant and the Cato Institute's George Selgin on Wednesday, September 18 as they discuss Grant's new book, which chronicles the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in the history of economic thought: Walter Bagehot. Over the course of the evening, Grant will share insights from Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian, his delightful new biography about Bagehot's philosophy, his career as a banker and editor of The Economist, his love of literature, and his enduring importance for students of monetary, economic, and political theory.

One of the most difficult jobs for an economist is making economics understandable. Yet that's exactly what Walter Bagehot did when he wrote Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market in 1873. Although written partly in response to one of his era's own great banking crises, Bagehot's elegant yet straightforward series of precepts on monetary and financial policy remains relevant today—to the point that in the aftermath of the 2007–08 financial crisis, central bankers routinely looked to "Bagehot's dictum" for guidance on how and when to lend to ailing banks. Equally germane are the discussions that Bagehot oversaw during his tenure at The Economist, where its writers (Bagehot included) debated currency reform, rules-based monetary policy, the credit cycle, and different schools of political liberalism.

The Cato Institute is honored to have the opportunity to host Grant next Wednesday as he discusses these and other vignettes from the rich and remarkable life of Walter Bagehot. Attendance is free—click this link to register.