Yale School of Management

International Center for Finance

Providing academic and professional support for research in financial economics.

The South Sea Bubble: July 1720

The South Sea Bubble of 1720

Female Traders
Image of the stock market with female traders.
Source: The Great Mirror of Folly.

This year, the ICF is looking back at the South Sea Bubble of 1720 which was the first global financial bubble that occurred 300 years ago in Paris, London and the Netherlands. On the South Sea Bubble 1720 project website, we share newspaper clippings from the Leydse Courant, a Dutch newspaper published in the 1720's, which documents some of the economic news at the time and the historical moments of the financial bubble from November 20, 1719 through December 31, 1721.



On this date 300 years ago: July 1720

Translated excerpt: “The movements among the speculators are extremely large especially for the South Sea Company; even the ladies involve themselves with the trading, and it appears that the most important stakeholders by their behavior very much try to benefit the connections of the Directors.”

South Sea July 1720
Translated excerpt from the Leydse Courant newspaper from July 1720.

A BIG thank you to Professor Geert Rouwenhorst for translating, Rik Frehen for his work on the project and selecting this passage, and Professor William Goetzmann for the image of the female traders!

Click here for more information about the South Sea Bubble of 1720 project.


Related:

Financial History ICF
About the author

Electra Ferriello

Assistant Director ICF