By W. T. C. King
First released in 1972. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra info for History of the London Discount Market
Towards the end of 1818, however, the reduction of Bank of England credit began to have its effect on the discount market, and in the ensuing nine months Gurney's turnover was reduced by one-fifth or one-sixth, and he was satisfied that other bill brokers had suffered at least as serious a contraction. Indeed, by the middle of 1819, he was complaining of a shortage, not of bills, but of money, which he attributed to the inadequacy of the circulation: . . when I am in that situation in my business, that if I want to borrow £10,000 till the following day (a situation, from the wants of others, which it is my business to supply, I am frequently placed in) I cannot do it ; that there is not a banking house in London that will part with £10,000 till the following day; then I say that there is too little of the circulating medium in the city; this has been the case several times lately..
Gurneys' made no further attempt to secure a share of the commission, and from that time, or shortly after, the proportion of their discount business transacted by the new London firm steadily increased. As an isolated fact, Gurneys' decision may seem a mere trifling incident in the everyday conduct of banking affairs. : without such a buttress the firm might never have risen beyond the level of 1 Gurneys' desire to avoid offence to Smith was clearly shown in their correspondence with Richardson when they first agreed to take his bills.
Many great houses are fighting through from day to day". The bill broker's lot in such conditions was hardly enviable, but despite these various handicaps his importance in the financial machine steadily increased. The Bullion Report, referring to the increased operations of brokers in the four or five years before 1810, pointed out that the improved discount facilities available in London had tended to increase the business of the country manufacturer, by enabling him to turn over his capital more quickly 2; and it also instanced the economy in London bankers' cash, already mentioned, as one of the beneficial results of the new facilities which the brokers afforded.
History of the London Discount Market by W. T. C. King