Financial Markets and the Global Economy: the History of Bubbles, Crashes and Inflations

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Economic History
  • Application code SS-EC204
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

This course introduces students to the long run evolution of financial markets and to the history of monetary policy and financial crises.

The course covers the two waves of financial globalization of 1880-1914 and 1980-2008 and the de-globalization of finance that happened during the Great Depression. A long run perspective on the 2008 financial crisis and Eurozone crisis will be provided through several historical case studies of stock market crashes, banking panics, currency crises and sovereign defaults. Finally, the course explores how central banks responded to financial crises in different historical periods and covers the main evolutions in monetary policy over the last two hundred years.

The course puts strong emphasis on how institutional and political factors shape the process of financial globalization and on how the structure of the international monetary system affects the conduct of monetary policy and the response to financial crises.

Session: One
Dates: 22 June – 10 July 2020
Lecturers: Dr Olivier AccominottiDr Natacha Postel-Vinay, and Professor Albrecht Ritschl



Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One piece of written work and one written examination

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


Introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics. A working knowledge of basic mathematics and statistics would also be helpful.

Programme structure

  • Stock market integration and stock market crashes before 1800
  • The gold standard and financial globalization before WW1
  • Banking panics under the classical gold standard and the monetary policy response
  • WW1 financial instability, hyperinflation and the reconstruction of the gold standard in the 1920s
  • Monetary policy and the Great Depression of the 1930s
  • The 1929 stock market crash and 1931 global financial crisis
  • Banking panics in the United States during the 1930s
  • The evolution of monetary policy since WW2
  • Financial crises in Latin America in 1980-2001
  • The East Asian financial crisis of 1997/1998
  • The 2008 subprime crisis in historical perspective
  • The 2008-2012 Eurozone crisis in historical perspective

Course outcomes

This course is aimed at students willing to improve their understanding of money and financial markets through a historical approach. It is also highly relevant to financial market practitioners and policy makers interested in acquiring a long run perspective on current hot issues in money, banking, and finance.


The LSE Department of Economic History is home to a huge breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise ranging from the medieval period to the present day and covering every major world economy. It is one of the largest specialist economic history departments in the world.

Following in a long, distinguished tradition of research and teaching, the Department of Economic History uses concepts and theories from the Social Sciences as a starting point for studying the development of real economies and understanding them in their social, political and cultural contexts.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s economic history faculty.

Reading materials

Eichengreen, B. (2008), Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kindleberger, C. P. (2005), Manias, Panics and Crashes. A History of Financial Crises, 5th edition, New York: Macmillan.

Neal, L. (2015), A Concise History of international Finance: from Babylon to Bernanke, Cambridge: CUP.

Reinhart, C; Rogoff, K. (2009), This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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