My research in recent years covered five major areas:
1. The interplay of finance and philanthropy: the financial innovations and resilience of the public banks and charities of Naples, 1539-1808
(with Prof. Lilia Costabile, University of Naples Federico II)
Conference funding provided by Foundation of the Historical Archives of the Bank of Naples, the University of Naples Federico II, and the Bank of Italy
2. How the Louisiana Purchase was financed
Research ongoing from the Barings Archives in London and the National Archives
3. A Comparative Historical Study of the Microstructure of Secondary Securities Markets
(with Lance Davis (CalTech) and Eugene White (Rutgers).
Funding provided by the National Science Foundation through the NBER
4. Risk Management in the First Emerging Markets
(with Ann Carlos, University of Colorado)
Funding provided by the National Science Foundation, through the University of Illinois, collaborative with U. of Colorado at Boulder.
5. European Union Center at the University of Illinois
Funding provided by the European Commission
This Center focuses on current policy issues that are contentious between the EU and the US, includiing non-tariff trade barriers, monetary policy, and expansion into east and central Europe.
While I was the Founding Director of the Center, my successors have expanded greatly the range of it activities, acquiring additional funding from the U. S. Department of Education.
My part-time teaching at The London School of Economics and Political Science during the Lent terms of 2006 through 2010, enabled me to continue my research in the Bank of England archives, but especially in The National Archives at Kew, where I discovered the 14 boxes of business accounts, letters, and legal documents left by Lord Londonderry, a "notorious speculator" in the Mississippi, South Sea, and Dutch stock market bubbles of 1719-1721. Thanks to the encouragement of the archivists theres, Amanda Bevan and Liz Hore, I became a volunteer cataloguer, so that I and all future scholars could use the materials effectively.
The 'Londonderry Project" led to various publications:
The major project that encompassed all these topics and more, was:
The Cambridge History of Capitalism, in 2 volumes:
vol. 1. "The rise of capitalism: from ancient origins to 1848."
vol. 2. "The spread of capitalism: from 1848 to the present."
The hardback volumes were published by Cambridge University Press in 2014 and the paperback volumes in 2015.
The Foundation of the BBVA in Spain provided the funding for a planning conference (limited to a dozen senior scholars) in November 2011 and a plenary conference (with most of the 33 scholars who contributed chapters attending) in November 2013. Both conferences held at the Foundation's headquarters in Madrid, with the support of the Director, Dr. Rafael Pardo.
2. Revising the 4th edition of Rondo Cameron's Concise Economic History of the World from Paleolithic Times to the Present.
5. Historical Perspective on the Sub-Prime Crisis