‘SOUND AND INGENIOUS’

Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit. Contenant une Analyse raisonnée des Fonds d’Angleterre, & de ce qu’on appelle Commerce ou Jeu d’Actions; un Examen critique de plusiers Traités sur les Impôts, les Finances, l’Agriculture, la Population, le Commerce &c. précédé de l’Extrait d’un Ouvrage intitulé Bilan général & raisonné de l’Angleterre depuis 1600 jusqu’en 1761; & suivi d’une Lettre sur la Jalousie du Commerce, où l’on prouve que l’intérêt des Puissances commerçantes ne se croise point, &c. avec un Tableau de ce qu’on appelle Commerce, ou plutôt Jeu d’Actions, en Hollande …

Amsterdam, Marc Michel Rey, 1771.

8vo, pp. xvi, 368 + the additional 8-page note on the state of English finances in 1770 (interim half-sheet H*) bound in after signature H; a very good, crisp copy, without the spotting sometimes found in this book, in contemporary mottled sheep , flat spine decorated in gilt, red morocco lettering-piece, marbled endpapers; extremities a little rubbed.

£3500

Approximately:
US $4294€4070

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Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit. Contenant une Analyse raisonnée des Fonds d’Angleterre, & de ce qu’on appelle Commerce ou Jeu d’Actions; un Examen critique de plusiers Traités sur les Impôts, les Finances, l’Agriculture, la Population, le Commerce &c. précédé de l’Extrait d’un Ouvrage intitulé Bilan général & raisonné de l’Angleterre depuis 1600 jusqu’en 1761; & suivi d’une Lettre sur la Jalousie du Commerce, où l’on prouve que l’intérêt des Puissances commerçantes ne se croise point, &c. avec un Tableau de ce qu’on appelle Commerce, ou plutôt Jeu d’Actions, en Hollande …

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First edition, first issue, of this ‘sound and ingenious’ (McCulloch) work on revenue and stock exchange transactions. The main thrust of Pinto’s argument is that the national debt, instead of being a burden, has been the principal source of the wealth and power of England.

Pinto confronts a number of contemporary authors on the subject: Berkeley, Hume and Petty, but also Boisguilbert, Buffon, Colbert, Diderot, Mirabeau, Rousseau and Voltaire. Pinto had in mind a ‘European economic model. [He] wanted above all to convince his readers of the soundness of the British system of public debt. With the adoption of improvements in the redemption policy proposed in his book, the system would achieve a high degree of perfection. In France the Physiocratic opinions of the elder Mirabeau in particular required Pinto to respond, and in England the otherwise admiring Hume was in disagreement. By means of a critical discussion of the work of these and other authors, Pinto propagated a financial policy that he thought would benefit both the State and the individual’ (Nijenhuis).

This copy has the extra interim half-sheet H* (pp. 8) titled Etat des Finances en Angleterre à la fin de la session du Parlement en 1770, not mentioned in Einaudi and not always present. The work excited much controversy on publication: it was translated into English by Rev. S. Baggs, and published with notes, in 1774.

Pinto (1715–1787) was born in Amsterdam. He was descended from a Portuguese Sephardic family and lived for some time at Bordeaux. ‘He then settled in Holland, where he soon made a large fortune and an equally great reputation. The Stathouder William IV (1747–51) had a very high opinion of his advice, both on administration and finance. He was as tolerant as he was high-minded, and his benevolence won him popularity’ (Palgrave).

Einaudi 4447; Goldsmiths’ 10791; Higgs 5282; Kress 6811; McCulloch, p. 347; Quérard VII, 183.

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