The documents in the Yale Collection of Historical Securities, a joint effort of Yale SOM’s International Center for Finance (ICF) and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, are priceless to students and scholars for their illumination of the history of finance. At least one financial instrument in the collection also has a more tangible value.
This week, Beinecke curator Timothy Young traveled to the Netherlands to collect 136.20 euros ($153) in interest on a perpetual bond issued by the Water Board of Lekdijk Bovendams on May 15, 1648, to finance the repair of a dike. The interest has accumulated since Yale acquired the bond in 2003.
The bond is one of the oldest securities in the world that has continuously paid interest.
“It's in our collections for a teaching instrument because it's very interesting to have a financial document that after 366 years is still viable," Young told the CBC.