It's sometimes stated that Britain was the financial capital of the world prior to the First World War, and that it took extraordinary war spending like that in the Great War to shift the capital to America. Example:
While exact estimates of British overseas investment in the 19th century vary, there is general agreement that by 1914 Britain acquired a historically unprecedented position as a global creditor. Cornell
However, this statement is not backed up by hard data. What portion (as a percent) of the world's finance was British? More specifically:
- What portion of global governmental reserves was in the British pound?
- What portion of global governmental reserves was in British bonds?
- What portion of finance workers globally worked for British banks?
- What portion of global wealth was held in British banks?