The magazine of the Museum of American Finance
in association with the Smithsonian Institution
Issue 141 • Spring 2022 ( ISSN 1520-4723 )
Kristin Aguilera Editor
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Howard A . Baker , Esq . Howard Baker Associates Lawrence A . Cunningham The George Washington University Peter C . Earle American Institute for Economic Research Brian Grinder Eastern Washington University Gregory DL Morris Freelance Journalist Susie Pak St . John ’ s University Arthur W . Samansky The Samansky Group Myles Thompson Columbia Business School Publishing Janice Traflet Bucknell University Robert E . Wright American Institute for Economic Research Jason Zweig The Wall Street Journal
ART DIRECTION Alan Barnett Design
MUSEUM STAFF David J . Cowen , President / CEO Kristin Aguilera , Deputy Director Robert Dinkelmann , IT / Technology Maura Ferguson , Director of Exhibits Sarah Poole , Collections Manager
Linda Rapacki , Managing Director of Visitor Services and Operations
Mindy Ross , Director , External Relations Ben Urizar , Assistant Director of Visitor Services
Copyright © 2022 by the Museum of American Finance , publisher . All rights reserved .
Financial History is the official membership magazine of the Museum of American Finance .
IN THIS ISSUE
10 Ways and Means : Trading with the Enemy
Trading between the North and South continued behind the lines throughout the Civil War , sparking a variety of problems including widespread antisemitism .
By Roger Lowenstein
14 Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
The influence of religious beliefs on modern Western economics has been profound and remains important today .
By Benjamin M . Friedman
18 When WPPSS Went Whoops
In 1983 , the Washington Public Power Supply System defaulted on $ 2.25 billion worth of bonds , making it the nation ’ s largest municipal bankruptcy .
By Michael A . Martorelli
23 Forging the US Mint from the Words of Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton ’ s “ Report on the Establishment of a Mint ” was an integral element of his financial revolution , which continues to impact the US economy today .
By Eric Brothers
28 In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio
A brief history of investments , from Sumerian times to today .
By Andrew Lo and Stephen Foerster
32 Treasury Truisms
Examining America ’ s first experience with a steeply progressive income tax .
By Daniel C . Munson
2 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Spring 2022 | www . MoAF . org