The below are short versions of lectures delivered at the Library. All registered readers receive invites to the full-length lectures and there are about six lectures per annum. Get your free membership here.

Dr Paul Kosmetatos
Scottish Banking and the 1772-1773 Banking Crisis

The 1772-1773 credit crisis, with its disproportionately severe impact in Scotland highlighted by the collapse of the large and ambitious Ayr Bank (Douglas, Heron & Co.) has always struck a contrarian note to this last part of the argument.

In this lecture Paul Kosmetatos, focusing on the crisis of 1772-1773, seeks to refute the case that free banking was a robust form of commercial banking capable of operating without a Lender of Last Resort.

Dr. Paul Kosmetatos is a former structured derivatives trader in the City of London. After twelve years in The City he studied for a PhD in Financial History at The University of Cambridge. Dr. Kosmetatos is now a Lecturer in International Economic History at the University of Edinburgh.

Ray Perman
Sir Walter Scott - His Financial Rise & Fall

A lecture at the Library of Mistakes by Ray Perman entitled Sir Walter Scott - His Financial Rise & Fall.

In 1825 Sir Walter Scott was at the height of his powers. His day job, as a principal clerk to the Court of Session, paid well and left him considerable time to write.

He was a man of property, with an elegant New Town house and a country estate at Abbotsford, and he was a businessman – chairman of two companies and director of others. By the beginning of 1826 he was financially ruined and facing huge debts.

Ray Perman, former financial journalist, is author of HUBRIS: How HBOS wrecked the best bank in Britain. He is currently working on a financial history of Edinburgh, from the Darien disaster to the credit crunch of 2008, to be published in the autumn.

Paul Crosthwaite, Nicky Marsh & Peter Knight:
A History of Financial Advice Literature

A new collection at the Library of Mistakes with Paul Crosthwaite, Nicky Marsh and Peter Knight.

The History of Financial Advice collection has been assembled to highlight the most important, influential, and distinctive popular guides to finance and investment published over the past three centuries.

In their presentation, the project team discuss how they went about assembling the collection and how the community of Errorists might use it in identifying recurring market mistakes, but also nuggets of investment wisdom.

Chris Swinson
A financial biography of Clarence Hatray

Jonathan Callaway
Paper Money of Scotland

Dr Gareth Campbell
The Rise and Return of Investment Trusts, 1868 to Today

Dr Felix Boecking
Trade, Tariffs, and Nationalism in Republican China, 1927–1945

Paul Crosthwaite
The Relationship between Literature and Economics

Dr Paul Kosmetatos
The Failure of Pattison's Whisky

Craig Turnbull
A History of British Actuarial Thought

Donald MacKenzie
The Sociology of High Frequency Trading

Dr Michael John Oliver
British Monetary Policy in the 1960s: A Reassessment

Dr Peter Knight:
Reading the Market: Genres of Financial Capitalism in Gilded Age America.

Tom Ward:
The Collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank

Richard Roberts:
When Britain Went Bust

Dougie Watt:
John Law and the Mississippi Bubble

Other lectures

Professor Barry Eichengreen

Richard Brooks

30 Nov HBOS talk

30 Nov HBOS talk
Professor Atul K Shah

In a new and innovative research study of Britain's largest corporate failure, HBOS, Professor Atul K. Shah discusses the blame game and fallout, probing into the details of risk, audit and regulatory failure. The findings expose fundamental problems with the theory and education of finance...

More details and audio
Hong Kong's Link to the US Dollar

Hong Kong's Link to the US Dollar
John Greenwood

John Greenwood explains the Hong Kong currency crisis of 1983 and his role in establishing the currency board system that solved the problem.


Why Should You Visit The Library of Mistakes?

Comprehensive Collection

A comprehensive collection of books and other materials related to business and finance and our failure to learn the lessons of the past.

Relaxed Setting

We welcome everyone – financial scholars, researchers, the retired, students and enthusiasts to our peaceful reading rooms.

Worldwide Coverage

Our collection addresses all the countries of the world.

Email facility

You can email scanned documents to yourself or a colleague within the limits of copyright law.

Classified Collection

We have split our collection to help you navigate the world’s business and financial history.

Opening Hours

Library open 0900-1700 Monday-Friday. We follow the same holidays as the London Stock Exchange.

Best Business and Finance Reference Library

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