Railway Mania

           In the 1840s, Britain was gripped by a mania for railway company shares that saw share prices double before a change in prospects caused the market to give up all of these gains and more. Given the scale of the transformations promised by new railways were so substantial, railway mania was perhaps an inevitable frenzy.

France’s Panama Canal Failure

           In 1879, the French Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique de Panama embarked on the project of cutting a canal through Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This was a bold project but large canals had been built before and one crossing Egypt at Suez had already transformed the world a few years earlier.

The 370-Year-Old Infrastructure Bond

           There aren’t very many financial instruments, especially bonds, that distributed income to investors for over a century. The relatively few that exist are usually perpetual bonds, those without any maturity date at all. Today, they are a relatively small category of bonds available to investors. However, there was a time when perpetual bonds were the

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