THE chapters which follow were written at a time when I was making financial studies for the Department of Commerce in London. The title is perhaps too ambitious, for within the narrow compass of its covers this book could not attempt a detailed description of the technique of overseas banking. However, such is not its purpose. It is less the technique which is changing than the nature and functions of the institutions making up the money market, and it was to analyze and evaluate these tendencies that reports now arranged in this form were originally prepared.
This is less true of the later chapters, because a description of the present status of investment trusts for the American reader cannot assume a basis of general information. When we consider that these remarkable companies have been the chief medium during more than thirty years for the export of capital from Great Britain, it seems strange indeed that no careful description has ever been attempted. In this field at least I hope that the essays may prove to be of timely interest in America, and if it seems to the reader that the space devoted to investment trusts is out of proportion to the earlier sections, I have only to plead that much repetition in parts I and II of facts generally known concerning the British credit system would have bored the student of banking for whom primarily the essays were written.
I must also take this occasion to express my gratitude for helpful criticism to my colleagues in the Department of Commerce, and the many friends in London who have had