Kuxe – German Mining Shares

            Mining can be a very capital-intensive business. Prospecting for gold by panning in a river may not be, but digging mine shafts and building any accompanying infrastructure to extract metal from deeper reserves most certainly is. So, to develop a mine, new companies with little history raise money by issuing shares to a large

The Older Icelandic Banking Crisis

            In 2008, Iceland was afflicted by a banking crisis caused in part by its banks raising huge sums of deposits from foreign savers at high interest rates and the investing of these deposits in questionable assets marked at values that proved impossible to realize. Banking assets as a percentage of Iceland’s small GDP grew

Medieval Trade Settlement and Credit

            If required to settle every payment immediately, trade can become a very capital-intensive business despite its small margins. This would have been especially taxing back when far longer travel times would have meant inventories had to be held for longer. When metal coins made up most of the money supply, immediate settlement of purchases

Glarus Fire and Swiss Re

            Growing populations, urbanization, and industrialization led to surging insurance needs in Europe in the 19th century. To meet this need, hundreds of new insurance companies were formed across the continent. However, these same trends also made insurance a riskier business. The growth meant that a factory or town burning down in 1860 could be

Dáil Éireann Loans

             When Ireland took on a renewed struggle for independence around 1920, it came with a need to raise money. So, the rebel government set up a loan drive and built a system of distribution that bore some resemblance to the war loans raised by governments elsewhere just a few years earlier during the First

Albert Oustric

            The 1920s saw the emergence of numerous shady characters in the history of finance, the product of a buoyant stock market amidst imbalances beneath the surface. These anti-heroes tended to have something in common, they were really good at raising lots of money. A Frenchman of the period, Albert Oustric, was able to put

Romania’s ‘Caritas’ Scheme

            Like other economies transitioning out of socialism around the same time, Romania in the early 1990s was a fairly dismal place. Offering a bit of hope to many was a local ‘mutual-aid’ financial scheme called Caritas. While appealing to people’s desperation, apathy, and frustrations, Caritas was clearly not a normal financial institution. It promised

Wealth in Fin de Siècle France

             At the start of the 19th century, the origin of much of France’s wealth was from land and much of this held by aristocrats. Even in urban and commercial Paris, aristocrats made up a considerable share of the wealthiest residents until well into the century. As the 1800s came to an end though the

Tabloids and Share Tips

            In Britain like other countries, share ownership became much more widespread over the course of the 20th century. The print media responded to this by publishing more content dedicated to investments. In the U.K., even lowbrow tabloids offered extensive financial advice and their role as advisers to their millions of readers continued into the

The Exchange Rate Mechanism Crisis

            European integration may be a feat achieved despite considerable trials and tribulations. Of a financial sort, perhaps the two most notable of these are the crisis with the ‘Exchange Rate Mechanism’ in 1992-93 and the sovereign debt crisis of roughly 2009-15. The former perhaps presaged the latter. Yet, the problems with the Exchange Rate

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