Welcome to the A Long Time In Finance Podcast; the long view of finance, markets and money as seen by two veteran City editors, Neil Collins and Jonathan Ford. Sponsored by Briefcase.News and hosted on Reaction.

Introducing a new six part series – “Long Time Shorts”, in which we serve up quick hits of financial history.

In this first episode, Neil and Jonathan look at the story of French thirty-something Max-Hervé George, whose father bought him a magical insurance policy; how this gave him the gift of 20-20 hindsight, and the agony it caused the insurance company that sold it.

In the second episode of the series, Neil takes us back to the 1970s; a benighted time when you could only take £50 per head out of the country on your foreign holidays. We explain the regime that underpinned this miserable system, how it criminalised the otherwise law-abiding middle classes, and why its much feared (by HM Treasury) abolition in 1979 was the dog that didn’t bark.

And in the third episode, Neil and Jonathan tell the story of the Dutch bond that kept on giving. On May 15 1648, the same day Holland signed the Treaty of Munster ending its 80 year war with Spain, a Dutch canal board issued a bond of 1,000 Carolus guilders to a Mr Niclaes de Meijer of Utrecht promising to pay him 5 per interest in perpetuity. Jonathan explains how that promise is still being kept 374 years later, what Mr de Meijer’s bond might be worth today, and why the Dutch are so good (relatively speaking) at meeting their financial obligations. Lang leve Nederland!

Stay tuned for episodes 4 to 6!