• exchange building,  share trade,  VOC

    The VOC and Amsterdam’s first exchange building

    This image shows the exchange building of Amsterdam in the early-modern era, known as the Hendrick de Keyser Exchange, after the building’s architect. It no longer exists. After two centuries of subsidence problems, the city decided to tear it down in the 19th century. It used to stand just south of Dam Square, where it was built over the watercourse of the Amstel River—small vessels could pass underneath. This had probably been too ambitious for the early 17th-century builders and caused the subsidence problems. From August 1611, when the exchange building opened, this was the place where most share transactions were negotiated. But it was not a stock exchange as…

  • Confusión de confusiones
    exchange building,  share trade

    Confusión de confusiones (1688): a historical stock exchange drama

    Confusión de confusiones, published in Amsterdam in 1688, is the world’s first book on the stock trade. Ever since the Financial Times included it in its list of ‘Ten Best Books Ever Written on Investment’ (January 28, 1995), interest in this book has soared. It is certainly a very special book, and it definitely stands out from the titles that are usually picked for such lists. But can it serve as a guide to modern investors, as the Financial Times suggested? Dialogues between a merchant, a philosopher and a share trader There are three characters in Confusión de confusiones. Two of them, a merchant and a philosopher, have heard about the trade in shares…