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Dr Charles Read’s book launch features in news coverage of Silicon Valley Bank collapse

The book launch held in Cambridge last Thursday for Dr Charles Read’s new book Calming the Storms: the Carry Trade, the Banking School and British Financial Crises since 1825, about the role that interest rates have played in causing financial crises over the past two centuries, has featured in the news coverage of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which happened the day after the launch. The second largest banking failure in US history stemmed from many of the same mechanisms related to interest rates that Dr Read identified in his book, as explained in his recent article in The Conversation.

Charles, who is an economic historian, researches the political economy of financial crises and famines in Great Britain, Ireland and the British Empire in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. He is an expert on the relationship between economic policy and financial stability in Britain and Ireland over the past two centuries.

Last month Dr Read was also cast in the role of Cassandra by the press coverage of Liz Truss's attempted rescue of her reputation, concerning a paper he sent to Kwasi Kwarteng, the then chancellor, and the talk he gave to civil servants before last September's mini budget, based on his historical research, warning about the danger of a financial crisis being brought about by budget measures that pushed up interest rates faster than they would otherwise rise.

Charles' most recent books are The Great Famine in Ireland and Britain’s Financial Crisis (Woodbridge: Economic History Society/The Boydell Press, 2022) and Calming the Storms: The Carry Trade, the Banking School and British Financial Crises since 1825 (London: Palgrave, 2023).

You can follow Charles on Twitter @EconCharlesRead