Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean

ISBN13: 9780226459110
Release Date: April 27th 2017
Published by: University Of Chicago Press
Pages: 368

From the end of the nineteenth century until the onset of the Great Depression, Wall Street embarked on a stunning, unprecedented, and often bloody period of international expansion in the Caribbean. The precursors to institutions like Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, as well as a host of long-gone and lesser-known financial entities, sought to push out their European rivals so that they could control banking, trade, and finance in the region. In the process, they not only trampled local sovereignty, grappled with domestic banking regulation, and backed US imperialism—but they also set the model for bad behavior by banks, visible still today.

In Bankers and Empire, Peter James Hudson tells the provocative story of this period, taking a close look at both the institutions and individuals who defined this era of American capitalism in the West Indies. Whether in Wall Street minstrel shows or in dubious practices across the Caribbean, the behavior of the banks was deeply conditioned by bankers’ racial views and prejudices. Drawing deeply on a broad range of sources, Hudson reveals that the banks’ experimental practices and projects in the Caribbean often led to embarrassing failure, and, eventually, literal erasure from the archives. Bankers and Empire is a groundbreaking book, one which will force readers to think anew about the relationship between capitalism and race.

More work like this

Book Conversation on May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem
Imani Perry, Kinohi Nishikawa
Conversations with Maya Angelou
Claudia Tate
The Difficult Miracle: The Living Legacy of June Jordan
Imani Perry
Reimagining Science and Technology
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Ruha Benjamin

Upcoming Events

Walking Histories: Race and Protest at Princeton and in Trenton
May 31, 2018 @ 3:00 pm
AAS Reunions Mixer
Jun 1, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Class Day 2018
Jun 4, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Senator Cory Booker To Deliver Class Day Address
Jun 4, 2018 @ 10:30 am
Nell Painter—Old in Art School
Jun 21, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
i am my ancestors’ wildest dreams: contemporary cultures of black impossibility
Oct 18, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018