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'A knavish people…': London Jewry and the stock market during the South Sea Bubble


  • Ann Carlos
  • Karen Maguire
  • Larry Neal


In an era when financial markets were only beginning the move from personal to impersonal relations, this paper examines the role of Jewish brokers in the market for Bank of England stock at a time when their status as recent immigrants, subject to constraints due to religion and ethnicity, made them unlikely intermediaries beyond their own communities. Using formal network analysis, an examination of their activity during the first half of 1720 suggests a marginal role. However, as the Bubble began to burst a few Jewish financiers became disproportionately involved as purchasers of a stock clearly on the decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Carlos & Karen Maguire & Larry Neal, 2008. "'A knavish people…': London Jewry and the stock market during the South Sea Bubble," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(6), pages 728-748.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:50:y:2008:i:6:p:728-748 DOI: 10.1080/00076790802420039

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacobsen, Siv Fagerland & Tschoegl, Adrian E, 1999. "The Norwegian Banks in the Nordic Consortia: A Case of International Strategic Alliances in Banking," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 137-165, March.
    2. Engwall, L. & Wallenstål, M., 1988. "Tit for tat in small steps: the internationalization of Swedish banks," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 4(3-4), pages 147-155.
    3. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1983. "International banks as leaders or followers of international business : An historical perspective," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 583-595, December.
    4. Ball, Clifford A. & Tschoegl, Adrian E., 1982. "The Decision to Establish a Foreign Bank Branch or Subsidiary: An Application of Binary Classification Procedures," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 411-424, September.
    5. Heinkel, Robert L. & Levi, Maurice D., 1992. "The structure of international banking," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 251-272, June.
    6. Edward Brown Flowers, 1976. "Oligopolistic Reactions in European and Canadian Direct Investment in the United States," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 7(2), pages 43-56, June.
    7. Chwo-Ming J Yu & Kiyohiko Ito, 1988. "Oligopolistic Reaction and Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of the U.S. Tire and Textiles Industries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 449-460, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary S. Shea, 2011. "(Re)financing the Slave Trade with the Royal African Company in the Boom Markets of 1720," CDMA Working Paper Series 201114, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    2. Haggerty, John & Haggerty, Sheryllynne, 2011. "The life cycle of a metropolitan business network: Liverpool 1750-1810," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 189-206, April.
    3. Madarász, Aladár, 2011. "Buborékok és legendák. Válságok és válságmagyarázatok - II/2. rész. A Déltengeri Társaság
      [Bubbles and myths, crises and explanations II/2: the South Sea bubble]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1001-1028.
    4. Gary S. Shea, 2011. "A Social Network for Trade and Inventories of Stock during the South Sea Bubble," CDMA Working Paper Series 201110, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    5. Andrew Mays & Gary S. Shea, 2011. "East India Company and Bank of England Shareholders during the South Sea Bubble: Partitions, Components and Connectivity in a Dynamic Trading Network," CDMA Working Paper Series 201109, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.


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