The original bubble

The original bubble

Let’s go back 300 years, almost to the day. It’s 1720, an evening in June – possibly Wednesday, the 12th – and Sir Isaac Newton has returned to his Westminster town house in fashionable St Martin’s Street. There, he made the following entry in his diary: “At the Mint did speak with Mr Hall and Mr Haynes on the vexing subject of the South Sea Company. Those good gentlemen did most earnestly speak of the merits of the Company since the fortunes of the Atlantic trade are greater than is generally supposed and the risks somewhat less. Thus shall request of Dr Fauquier that he both subscribe my Redeemables for the new Company stock and pursue his best endeavours to purchase stock in Exchange Alley.”

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