Foreign Exchange and Foreign Bills in Theory and Practice. William F. Spalding

A. C. Whitaker
1916 Journal of Political Economy  
or whether he needs something which is instructive. Even in the latter case, the reviewer wishes to insist, one very important kind of instruction is instruction as to what queer doctrines there are in this world-doctrines which the student will sooner or later be called upon to meet and combat. This book is commended for that purpose. If one might venture a criticism, it is that the editor has not sufficiently warned his readers. He does, to be sure, disclaim all responsibility for the views
more » ... ity for the views expressed; but there is danger that inexperienced readers may get the impression that there are no other views except those set forth in these selections. For example, in the last part, entitled "Comprehensive Schemes of Social Reform," the only "constructive " schemes set forth are bizarre in the extreme. To be sure, the editor introduces some arguments against these schemes, but no alternative constructive programs are presented. Sons, [1I9I5] 8vo, pp. Xii+2I5. $2.00. Mr. Spalding is a "lecturer on foreign exchange to the City of London College." His book is written from the British standpoint and, in this respect, as well as in general scope and nature, bears a family resemblance to Hartley Withers' recent volume on the exchange entitled Money Changing. Both Spalding's and Withers' books are more comprehensive and more modern than Clare's A.B.C. of the Foreign Exchanges (London, ist edition, I892), but on the other hand both appear to be put together in a less workman-like manner. Spalding's work contains more practical detail than Withers', approaching in character Margraff's International Exchange (though not so signally deficient as the latter in explanation of the exchanges as a general system), but the book has many flaws as an exposition. Such passages as the following present themselves in it: "The Mint Par of Exchange, although it is only a nominal par of exchange, does enable us to get at the exact rates for the interchange of currency by giving us a definite point from which to calculate the price of debts payable on demand or at some determinable future time" (p. 14). This implies clearly that when exchange houses make their workaday calculations of buying and selling prices for demand and long bills they use the mint par as data, which is nonsense. Truly the mint par is a ratio between two quantities which serve as the chief factors in determining the gold "points," but the more one This content downloaded from 080.082.
doi:10.1086/252832 fatcat:mbmlv6234bc2ncuw4vihoazcpm