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Paris, Capital of Modernity by David Harvey

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CHAPTER FIVE

MONEY, CREDIT, AND FINANCE

The credit system accelerates the material development of the productive forces and the establishment of the world market.

—MARX

On the morning of December 2, 1851, Emile Pereire hurried to the house of James Rothschild to reassure the bedridden banker that all had gone smoothly with the coup d’état. The story of their subsequent break and awesome struggle, which lasted until the Pereire brothers’ downfall a year before James died in 1868, is one of the legendary battles of high finance. It became the subject much later of Zola’s novel L’Argent (Money).1 Behind it lay two quite different conceptions of the role of money and finance in economic development. The haute banque of the Rothschilds was a family ...

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