Richard Kleer

Professor Emeritus
PhD (University of Toronto)


Research interests
Money; Banking; Public Finance; Financial Crises

I have been a member of the Economics Department at the University of Regina since 1990. I obtained my Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of Toronto in 1992.

My teaching interests lay in the areas of economic institutions, financial crises, the macroeconomic impact of major wars, and writing for economists. I have offered courses in all these areas: ECON 234 (Financial and Monetary Crises), ECON 235 (International Economic Institutions), ECON 360 (Economics of War) and ECON 280 (Writing for Economists). And perhaps my favourite course to teach is ECON 100 (Introduction to Economic issues), for the scope it offers to show students how apparently dry matters of economic policy have fascinating political and moral dimensions.

My research focuses on the connections between money, banking, financial markets and public finance in early-modern Britain. I am interested specifically in periods of financial or monetary crisis, when it becomes easier to catch sight of the subterranean forces at work also in regular times. I have argued for example that the celebrated South Sea Bubble of 1720 (the English-speaking world's first major financial crisis) ultimately derived from a quiet but intense struggle between the South Sea Company and the Bank of England for dominance in the banking sector. Similarly, in my study of the financial crisis connected with England's Great Recoinage of 1696, I explored the role of two intersecting power struggles, one within the administration and the other between the Bank of England and a rival banking project dominated by London's goldsmith-bankers. Currently I am investigating the dynamics of British public finance during the French Revolutionary war. During that period there were two major financial crises in Britain: one in 1793 and the other in 1796-97. My focus is on the stresses and strains that emerged in the London money market during these crises and the numerous and wide-ranging proposals for monetary reform to which they gave rise. I am particularly intrigued by the many, often hair-brained, schemes for increasing the amount of paper currency in circulation and more sober projects for enhancing the liquidity of public securities such as government bonds and Exchequer bills.

My publications are as follows:

  • "When first we practice to deceive: an alternative account of the South Sea Bubble". In Stefano Condorelli and Daniel Menning (eds.), Boom, bust, and beyond: new perspectives on the 1720 stock market bubble (Oldenbourg: De Gruyter, 2019), pp. 119-38.
  • Money, politics and power: banking and public finance in wartime England, 1694-96 (London and New York: Routledge, 2017).
  • "'A new species of mony': British Exchequer bills, 1707-11", Financial History Review 22.2 (August 2015):179-203.
  • "Riding a wave: the Company's role in the South Sea Bubble". Economic History Review 68.1 (February 2015):264-85.
  • "'The folly of particulars': the political economy of the South Sea Bubble". Financial History Review 19.2 (August 2012):175-97.
  • "'Fictitious cash': English public finance and paper money, 1689-97". In Christopher Fauske and Ivar McGrath (eds.), Money, power and print: interdisciplinary studies on the British financial revolution (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2008), pp. 70-114
  • "Smith on teleology: a reply to Alvey". History of Economics Review 40 (Fall 2004):145-49
  • "'The ruine of their Diana': Lowndes, Locke and the bankers." History of Political Economy36.3 (Fall 2004):533-56.
  • "Reading the Wealth of Nations in context: rethinking the canon of mid-18th century British political economy." In Evelyn Forget and Sandra Peart (eds.), Reflections on the classical canon in economics: essays in honor of Samuel Hollander (London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 125-147.
  • "The role of teleology in Adam Smith's Wealth of nations." History of Economics Review 31 (Winter 2000):14-29.
  • "Lucy Barbara (Bradby) Hammond (1873-1961)". In Robert Dimand, Mary Ann Dimand, and Evelyn Forget (eds.), A biographical dictionary of women economists (Aldershot: Elgar, 2000), pp. 204-209.
  • "Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919)". In Robert Dimand, Mary Ann Dimand, and Evelyn Forget (eds.), A biographical dictionary of women economists (Aldershot: Elgar, 2000), pp. 261-280.
  • "The decay of trade: the politics of economic theory in eighteenth-century Britain." Journal of the History of Economic Thought 18 (1996):319-46.
  • "Final causes in Adam Smith's Theory of moral sentiments." Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (1995):275-300. Reprinted in Knud Haakonssen (ed.) Adam Smith (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1998), pp. 139-65.
  • "Adam Smith on the morality of the pursuit of fortune." Economics and Philosophy 9 (1993):289-95.

I also wrote articles on the "The 1696 Recoinage", "Bank of England founded" and "The South Sea Bubble" for The Literary Encyclopedia, an online reference work for university students and scholars.