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The Talhouët Affair: Graft and Punishment in 1723 France

In: The War Within


  • François R. Velde

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)


The “Talhouët Affair” was the most serious corruption scandal of early eighteenth century France. It arose in the context of a major restructuring of the public debt (the “Visa” of 1721–1723) and was handled by a special court which meted out exemplary punishment. Both the Affair and its context (the Visa of 1721) are known, but have not been studied in detail. I summarize the Visa operation and then recount the Affair, which sheds unexpected light on the primacy of State interests over the power of personal connections.

Suggested Citation

  • François R. Velde, 2018. "The Talhouët Affair: Graft and Punishment in 1723 France," Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance, in: Joël Félix & Anne Dubet (ed.), The War Within, chapter 0, pages 125-143, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:psitcp:978-3-319-98050-8_6
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-98050-8_6

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