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The French Mississippi Bubble, British South Sea Bubble and Dutch Windhandel were part of a 1719-20 pan-European equity boom that involved many more countries than hitherto thought. Drawing on extensive archival research, the paper establishes that speculation and stock euphoria spanned from Portugal to Russia, and from Sicily to Sweden. As such, it demonstrates that 1720 European financial markets were largely driven by common forces. Comparing all the projects successful or unsuccessful for joint-stock companies promoted around 1720, the paper underlines three aspects that shed new light on this first transnational financial bubble. First, these projects bring to the fore a two-speed Europe: while the most advanced economies focused on innovative business sectors in particular marine insurance, the least developed were catching up with a model that was more than one century old, namely the privileged company for long-distance trade and colonization. Second, French and British experiments with public debt engineering that fuelled the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles were emulated throughout Europe; in almost every country there were schemes geared to improving public finances. Third, the timing of the global equity boom was more diachronic than previously thought, suggesting that contemporaries did not expect that a stock market crash somewhere should necessarily generate a contagion effect.

Item Type: MPRA Paper -

Original Title: The 1719-20 stock euphoria: a pan-European perspective-

Language: English-

Keywords: Financial history, early modern history, European economic integration, South Sea Bubble, Mississippi Bubble, financial crisis synchronicity, joint-stock companies, public debt-for-equity swap, marine insurance, long-distance trade, financial innovation.-

Subjects: F - International Economics > F3 - International Finance > F31 - Foreign ExchangeF - International Economics > F3 - International Finance > F36 - Financial Aspects of Economic IntegrationG - Financial Economics > G0 - General > G01 - Financial CrisesG - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G15 - International Financial MarketsH - Public Economics > H6 - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt > H63 - Debt ; Debt Management ; Sovereign DebtM - Business Administration and Business Economics ; Marketing ; Accounting ; Personnel Economics > M1 - Business Administration > M13 - New Firms ; StartupsN - Economic History > N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions > N23 - Europe: Pre-1913N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation > N43 - Europe: Pre-1913-

Author: Condorelli, Stefano


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