Banking Tycoons in the Early Republic of China Period

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I recently read the book Banking Tycoons in the Early Republic of China Period (《民初銀行大亨》), written by Li Beitao (李北濤), edited by Cai Dengshan (蔡登山), and published by Taiwan Independent Writers Press in May 2015.
Banking Tycoons in the Early Republic of China is a compilation of sixteen articles recounting and recalling the history of Republican banking. I have several thoughts after reading it. First of all, each article in the book is stated and written by major banking grandees from the Central Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications and others. in the early Republic of China period. These include Feng Gengguang (馮耿光), President of the Bank of China, Zhang Boju (張伯駒), Chairman of the China Yien Yieh Commercial Bank succeeding his father Zhang Zhenfang (張鎮芳), Zhang Shuchun (章叔淳), Manager of the Hong Kong branch of the Zhongnan Bank, and more than ten others were all bankers in the early Republic of China period. The contents stated in the book are their personal experiences, and the credibility of the historical information they provided is beyond doubt. Secondly, it truly reflects the changes of the form and system of the Chinese banking industry from "merchant bank" to "bank" in the Republic of China, and the development of the banking industry in China's financial sector from the Beiyang Warlord period to the rise of the Kuomintang regime, followed by the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). It also introduces the suspension of the exchange of the Beijing banknotes by the Bank of China, the bank run on the banknotes, the Great Reorganization, the issuance of gold yuan notes, Chiang Ching-kuo's anti-corruption movement in Shanghai, and other major financial events that rocked China. This book is a detailed and objective account of these events and the little-known inside story. In addition, there are detailed descriptions and records in the article describing the four major families' infiltration into the banking industry with their power, Chang Tsao-lin's forced borrowing from the bank, and Song Ziwen's plan to turn Zhang Jia'ao's Central Bank into a major bank for the Kuomintang bureaucratic capital through two reorganization orders and other means. Thus, it is a testimony to the way the political figures of the Republic of China turned the tide in both the political and business worlds. Many of the photographs in the book also recreate the history of that period of time.

Banking Tycoons in the Early Republic of China is also a recommended book for those interested in the history of the Republic of China and for those in the financial and numismatic community who study and collect Republican coins.