Thursday, November 01, 2012

Get rich quick

Courtesy of Kalebeul...

A broker converting coin into MIssissippi stock in the Dutch print series, Het grote tafereel der dwaasheid, The great scene of folly.

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2 comments:

Me said...

The Dutch East India Company was pretty well run, and they simply loved it when the French screwed up.

Enrigsa said...

Excuse me, I think the Mississippi stocks don't correspond to the Dutch print series ("South Sea Bubble" I understand), but the Frech bubble 1716-1720 (Law system - Mississippi system). Out of this point, I give you a description of the French market in the bubble (to enjoy it):

Let us imagine that we are standing in the rue Quincampoix in Paris. It is the early spring of 1720 and this narrow street is packed with people pushing and shoving and shouting out prices. This is the French stock exchange of the day. We are standing beside a man who is watching all this frenetic activiy impasively. He has just returned from Italy. The last time he was in Paris was in August 1719, when he observed similar scenes. Although a friend at the time of John Law, the person responsible for this stock market frenzy, he believed then that he was now witnessing a financial bubble and had taken what he regarded as a prudent decision to sell all his shares and retire to Italy. His friend, meanwhile, was now the equivalent of prime minister of France. The man seems to have been wrong in his assesment of the market, for now the shares are trading at four times his selling price of August 1719, but as he witnesses the turbulent scenes of the rue Quincampoix, he believes more than ever that his initial analyisis was correct... This was the real world scenario that the Irish-born economist Richard Cantillon witnessed during the spring of 1720. Cantillon reckoned that it was impossible for John Law simultaneously to expand the money supply, reduce interest rates, and revalue paper money realative to silver and gold.

Antoin E. Murphy (The Genesis Of Macroeconomics)