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Langport's Walter Bagehot praised in BBC series
1:50pm Friday 6th July 2012 in News
A LEADING academic historian has praised Langport’s most famous resident in a prestigious BBC lecture series.
Professor Niall Ferguson, of Harvard University, gave the 2012 BBC Reith Lecture on Langport’s own Walter Bagehot, a famous Victorian writer and banker.
The Reith Lectures have, since 1948, been the BBC’s flagship annual lecture series and the latest instalment referred to Bagehot’s views on banking crises – as set out in his 1873 classic book, Lombard Street.
Professor Ferguson, whose topic was The Rule of Law and Its Enemies, examined the causes of the global financial crisis in his second lecture, The Darwinian Economy, recorded at The New York Historical Society and broadcast on BBC radio from June 26.
During the lecture he said: “By reviewing half a century of financial crises, Bagehot brilliantly showed how the Bank of England’s role as custodian of the nation’s cash reserve was quite different from its role as defined by statute or, indeed, as understood by the very men running it.
“In the realm of regulation, as I have said, we ought to be going back to Bagehot.”