We know as little about Cantillon's origins and person as we do about the fate of his writings. It is true that Jevons found the already cited accounts of his family in genealogical publications. However, on closer inspection their contents prove to be so much in conflict with established facts about Cantillon that it would be better to forego using them at all. The only thing certain is that the Cantillons were settled in Ireland for centuries and that several members of the family emigrated to France, at the latest in the company of James II, when, towards the end of the seventeenth century, the Stuarts were driven out of England. One Richard Cantillon, clearly not the economist but rather, according to the unreliable genealogy, his cousin, a wounded veteran of the Battle of the Boyne between the followers of James II and those of William of Orange in 1690, was established by at least 1705 as a banker in Paris and as such was a confidant of the large group of English Catholics who gathered there round the son of James II, the "Old Pretender." Details of various business deals of this Richard Cantillon have been recounted by Higgs, in particular a not unproblematic case of a lottery run for the benefit of the emigrant Benedictines from Ireland.
The first reference to our own Richard Cantillon followed upon the death of his cousin on August 5, 1717. The latter had contracted debts far in excess of his assets, so that some of his creditors had to be satisfied, at first with twenty-five percent of their claims. But in March 1720 "M. Cantillon, who in the lifetime of the chevalier Cantillon was known by the name of Richard Cantillon junior, graciously offered to pay all the creditors of the deceased the three-fourths which were wanting to their satisfaction in full, though he was himself one of the creditors for a large amount;... and carried his offer out... being impelled thereto by no reason known to us beyond that of doing honour to a person whose name he bore." There are, however, some grounds for considering it likely that even prior to 1717 the real owner of the bank was not the invalid veteran but rather our own Richard Cantillon. We have the latter's testimony of 1719 that he had been engaged in banking in Paris for quite a number of years, while another source states that he set up business as a banker there in 1716. Now it is improbable that two firms of the same name would exist without there being any distinction drawn between them in these sources. In addition, as we shall see, Cantillon later set up a relative of the same name as a straw man in a firm which belonged entirely to him. It is certain, at any rate, that the Cantillon banking company's contacts with its clientele were kept intact after the death of the elder Richard Cantillon.
Since my father's recent death, I have been serving as a member of the board of directors of 'The City Bank Limited, ' the nation's first and largest private sector bank. I have earned this position not by merit or professional qualities but by replacing my father who was the founder director of the bank and was an architect of the debut of private sector banking in Bangladesh. Other than attending board meetings once every month or two, I have not taken an active role in the bank's affairs. I opted not to be member of any executive committee of the bank because I do not think I am up to the job yet. But from my little exposure, I try to learn as much as I can. I want to be more mature and educated in the field so that I can make a contribution to this sector which is so vital to the development of the country.
The final chapter of Part One, which is devoted to the value of precious metals and the emergence of coinage, forms the basis for his development of the monetary theory which occupies most of Part Two and even extends into Part Three. This theory constitutes, without doubt, the supreme achievement of a man who was the greatest pre-classical figure in at least this field and whom the classical writers themselves in many instances not only failed to surpass but even failed to equal. In the present context it must suffice to highlight some salient points, a procedure which is now feasible, thanks to the existence of a detailed assessment in P. Harsin's fine history of monetary and financial doctrine in France from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, as well as in other works to which the reader is referred. In his monetary theory Cantillon was apparently influenced in many respects by John Law, whom, however, he never mentions. This is seen clearly in his attitude toward John Locke, with whom he comes to grips several times and whose conventional theory of the origin of money he rejects in common with Law; likewise he explicitly rejects Locke's argument that the value of precious metals is determined by social consent. Law, whose importance as a monetary theorist nowadays tends to be obscured by his errors, none of which Cantillon shares, was, however, clearly surpassed by the latter. Among the achievements which distinguish Cantillon from other founders of monetary theory, may be counted his criticism of Locke's naive quantity theory, in place of which he gives us a detailed account of the process by which an increase in the quantity of money successively affects the prices of different goods. This account is found in the magnificent sixth chapter of Part Two and has been justifiably described by Jevons as one of the most wonderful things in the book. No less remarkable is his account, elaborating on Petty's approach, of what determines the velocity of circulation of money, "where one finds unequivocally stated for the first time that the velocity of circulation of money is as important as its quantity in determining its value." Equally outstanding are his description of the functioning of a dual currency, in the context of which he criticizes the measures taken by Newton at the time of the English coinage reform in 1717, and finally his doctrine concerning exchange rate, which, in Jevons's opinion has never, not even in Goschen's well-known book, been treated with more perspicuity and scientific accuracy.
The final two chapters of Part Two of the also deserve attention, for they contain a rather well developed theory of interest, one which even Böhm-Bawerk, remarkably enough, overlooked: here the opinion that money begets interest is clearly refuted (an achievement for which Hume usually receives credit), and the effects of a temporary reduction in the rate of interest, brought about by an increase in the quantity of money, is accurately described. Following upon the discussion of exchange rates and dual currency, we find, finally, in Part Three a detailed description of the banking system, in which Cantillon explains, for example, the special circumstances which cause a banker to hold a cash reserve greater or less than the usual ten percent of his liabilities. With that we have covered the main points to which we wished to draw the reader's attention.
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Jevon's essay opened the way for a torrent of writing on Cantillon. The Palgrave's and a supplementary volume of devoted space to him?" In the years with followed, J. K. Ingrain, R. Zurkerlandl, and especially A. Espinas discussed him in their doctrinal histories. In the first edition of his Alfred Marshall made a widely noted remark about Cantillon to the effect that he "was very acute and in some respects much ahead of his time. But he seems to me wanting in solidity." More importance attaches, indeed, to the researches of Stefan Bauer and especially to those of Henry Higgs, who, following clues which Jevons had uncovered but was unable to pursue because of his sudden death, brought some very interesting facts about Cantillon and his work to light. These appeared in 1891 in the second number of Volume One of the
One seeks in vain for Cantillon's name even in Blanqui's history of economic thought and until 1870 one finds only spasmodic references to him, Ganilh being a case in point. Eugène Daire devoted some scattered footnotes to him in his edition of the Physiocrates, while Cantillon is once again correctly identified in Julius Kautz's 1860 account of political economy and its historical development as a "transitional link between the Mercantilists, the Physiocrats, and the Smithians, ranked among the actual founders of political economy particularly because of his originality and independence of comprehension and presentation." At this juncture it is well to recall a point that has been lost sight of since the rediscovery of Cantillon, namely, the fact that Wilhelm Roscher always paid tribute to Cantillon's importance. Relatively few other early authors are as frequently mentioned in Roscher's "Foundations of Economics," while in his history of political economy he credits Cantillon's with "containing in essentially perfected form many of the main traits and most important achievements of the Physiocrats." It is presumably due to Roscher's influence that Fr. von Sivers in his 1874 essay on "Turgot's Place in the History of Political Economy" offers a detailed appreciation of Cantillon, many of whose pronouncements he quotes with the utmost praise. Meanwhile, writing in France four years previously, Léonce de Lavergne, that fine historian of his country's eighteenth-century economic literature, had indeed begun his review of the Physiocratic school by naming Cantillon and Gournay as its forerunners, saying in particular of Cantillon's that "this book, though it was barely the size of a duodecimo volume, anticipated all the theories of the Economistes."
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Comparing to traditional class, online course offers several advantages to students, which include flexibility, adaptability, accessibility and so forth (Borstorff, 2007).