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⏳History of the Stock Market part 2

Hope you had a great weekend traders. I want to let you know that I received my book “Devil Take the Hindmost” in the mail a couple weeks back. I have started to slowly make my way through it and I want to share a snippet that I read the other day that I found interesting.

“The propensity to barter and exchange is an innate human characteristic. An inclination to divine the future is another deeply ingrained trait. Together they comprise the act of financial speculation. "All life is speculation," declared the celebrated nineteenth-century American trader James R. Keene, "the spirit of speculation is born with men." For the earliest known historical cases of speculation we must turn to ancient Rome during the Republic of the second century b.c. By this date, the Roman financial system had developed many of the characteristics of modern capitalism: markets flourished because Roman law allowed the free transfer of property, money was lent out at interest, money changers dealt in foreign currencies, and payments across the Roman territories could be made by bankers' draft. Capital concentrated in Rome, as it later did in Amsterdam, London, and New York. 2 The idea of credit had also developed, along with a primitive form of insurance for ships and other forms of property. The people of Rome exhibited a passion for the accumulation of wealth, matched by an extravagance in its display and consumption. Gaming was common.

The Roman state contracted out many of its functions, from tax collecting to temple building, to societies of capitalists, known as publicani. Like modern joint-stock companies, the publicani were legal bodies independent of their members whose ownership was divided into partes, or shares. They had executive managements, produced public accounts {tabulae), and held occasional meetings of shareholders. Many were considerable concerns, employing tens of thousands of slaves. Shares came in two sorts: larger executive shareholdings of the great capitalists, known as socii, and smaller-shares, called particulae. The manner of dealing in unregistered particulae shares was informal, resembling the modern over-the-counter stock markets. 4 The publicani maintained a system of couriers throughout the Roman territories in order to gather information, enabling them to calculate how much to bid for contracts at auction and how much shares in going concerns were worth.”

Isn’t that interesting that speculation goes back to the 2nd century. I never knew it went back that far. Our ancestors have been trading in markets that long. It really is something that is

ingrained within us. I always liked the idea of making money from markets ever since I watched the movie “Trading Places”. I think that was the first time I ever saw something like that, of course afterwards came Wall Street and so many others.

Kevin Araujo



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