Compte rendu au Roi.

NECKER Jacques (1781.)


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4to. [4], 86 pp., folding tables and two folding coloured maps. Modern quarter green cloth with marbled paper covered boards, spine lettered in gilt on black morocco label, edges untrimmed, contemporary front and rear wrappers bound-in. Paris, n.p.

Following the resignation of Taboureau des Réaux as Contrôleur-général des Finances in 1777, Necker (1732-1804) was appointed to succeed him as Durecteur-général; the title of Contrôleur-général was denied him, as this would have admitted him to the council of state, and he was a Protestant. In this, his first important post in public finance, Necker had considerable success, diminishing expenses, simplifying the machinery of of the administration and, through his former banking connexions, securing exceptionally favourable terms for the treasury. The Compte rendu, which was addressed to the public rather than the king, summarises Necker's achievements and did much to established his reputation. It is of great importance for being the first public report of government economic policy in France. 

"This must be the best-selling financial statement ever issued. Ironically, its very success caused Necker's downfall in that jealousy led to intrigues to discredit him in the eyes of the King. They succeeded, and Necker was dismissed" (Carpenter).

One of several French editions printed in 1781, during which the Compte rendu sold at the rate of 3,000 a day and total sales exceeded 40,000. Carpenter usefully breaks down the various editions, tentatively placing the present issue as the fifth printing. 

Carpenter, Economic Bestsellers Before 1850, XXVIII (5).

Stock Code: 239654

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