Recoinage Crisis of 1696

           In the late 17th century, a series of advances were made in finance. Though originating in England, this period of increasing sophistication became known as the ‘Financial Revolution’ even outside Britain. Long-term government borrowing, central banks, and stock exchanges were each either born or developed into more recognizable forms in this period. It was a

Spanish Stamp Scandal

           In 2006, authorities shut down the operations of two stamp dealing firms in Spain offering investment products that turned out to be fraudulent. The value of the products they sold to customers were overstated and the returns they offered could only be paid out of the investments made by new investors. This ponzi scheme was

The First Terrorism-Linked Bonds

           The first insurance companies were launched in the 18th century, the first reinsurance companies in the 19th, and the first insurance-linked securities in the 20th. This steady development in the insurance market helped make property and casualty insurance universally accessible and competitively priced. It has also reduced the riskiness of insurance operations, bringing stability and

Britain’s Provincial Exchanges

           Many credit the financial development of the United Kingdom as a cause of the Industrial Revolution which got underway there in the late 18th century. Of course, stock exchanges may have had their own role to play in funding industry. However, it was not the London Stock Exchange that filled this role, either alone or

Roman Loans

           The financial system of classical Rome was developed enough that it had long abandoned a barter economy by the time of Caesar or Augustus. Rather, it had an efficient monetary system. This is not to say that it was an economy where people only, or even mostly, transacted in coins. Indeed, credit was also important.

New York Produce Exchange

             Agricultural commodities have been traded between places for millennia before modern commodity exchanges were founded. However, these exchanges brought many of the services required by merchants and traders under a single roof. In the 19th century, exchanges became larger, partly the result of improved communications and transportation infrastructure. Two American commodities exchanges formed in the

Pool Re and Terrorism Insurance

             Insurance companies have decades or even centuries of experience insuring against many perils, from storms to fires. But some risks are harder to insure against than others. Some perils occur too infrequently to have high confidence in any calculated probability of occurrence. Others can cause extremely extensive damage when they do occur. Still other perils

Agency Houses and Indian Trade

           Until the early 19th century, much of India’s financial and economic history revolved around European trading companies, most notably the British East India Company. However, there were other organizers of Indian trade besides these companies. Among them were the ‘agency houses’, financial and trading firms that got their start during the period of Company rule

America’s Regional Exchanges

           Stock exchanges are physical testaments to financial development. Their buildings are often prominent within their home cities. They evidence commercial success, perhaps even heralding more forthcoming success. They help fund growing industries and the firms within them, the purveyors of future riches.            Just the same though, new industries have also helped form new stock exchanges,

Insurance for All

           The government in Germany is said to have created the first welfare state in the 19th century, built around social insurance schemes protecting against sickness, workplace accidents, and other hazards. In Britain, the government began building its own welfare state a few decades later, organizing it around principals of insurance as well. However, the British

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