Patrice Riemens on Thu, 31 Jul 2008 18:18:33 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Naked short selling - in the Dutch Golden Age...

For the amateurs of financial extravanganza taking a slightly more refined
interest than George Doubleyew ....

Exchanges got a bit agitated of late by the phenomenon of 'naked short
selling', now described as a new-fangled and quasi-criminal practice in
dire need of tough regulatory disciplining. (If I understand well naked
short selling consists in selling down-going shares you don't even possess
(usually by 'renting' them for a short while from e.g. an pension fund -
short selling sec)

Dutch 'paper of reference' NRC Handelsblad just wrote that the practice
actually traces back to the august VOC, The Dutch East India Company of
expansionist lore. Pathbreaker was one Isaac Le Maire (whose stone bust
still adorns the 'Maritime House') who in 1609 speculated big time on the
the VOC shares going South amidst incessant and disastrous warfare against
the English both in the Channel and in the East. So not only did he
download the shares he owned, but also quite a number he didn't, raising
an outcry amongst his fellow burghers and causing the first fit of
exchange regulation on record: a ban on short selling - later rescinded.

Tulipomania, short selling, what more has 'Dutch Business' invented for us?

Isaac le Maire's grave in Egmond-Binnen (NH):

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