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Riding the South See Bubble

  • Peter Temin
  • Hans-Joachim Voth

This paper presents a case study of a well-informed investor in the South Sea bubble. We argue that Hoare's Bank, a fledgling West End London banker, knew that a bubble was in progress and nonetheless invested in the stock; it was profitable to "ride the bubble." Using a unique dataset on daily trades, we show that this sophisticated investor was not constrained by institutional factors such as restrictions on short sales or agency problems. Instead, this study demonstrates that predictable investor sentiment can prevent attacks on a bubble; rational investors may only attack when some coordinating event promotes joint action.

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File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/213.pdf
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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 213.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:213
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  1. William Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll & Matthew I. Spiegel & Ivo Welch, 2002. "Sharpening Sharpe Ratios," NBER Working Papers 9116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mark W. Watson, 1982. "Bubbles, Rational Expectations and Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 0945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Rational Frenzies and Crashes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 1-23, February.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
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  13. Dow, James & Gorton, Gary, 1994. " Arbitrage Chains," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 819-49, July.
  14. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
  15. deB. Harris, Frederick H. & McInish, Thomas H. & Shoesmith, Gary L. & Wood, Robert A., 1995. "Cointegration, Error Correction, and Price Discovery on Informationally Linked Security Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(04), pages 563-579, December.
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  18. Peter Temin & Joachim Voth, 2006. "Banking as an emerging technology: Hoare's Bank, 1702-1742," Economics Working Papers 1263, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  19. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. " Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-95, June.
  20. Rappoport, Peter & White, Eugene N, 1994. "Was the Crash of 1929 Expected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 271-81, March.
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  26. Harris, Ron, 1994. "The Bubble Act: Its Passage and Its Effects on Business Organization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 610-627, September.
  27. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2004. "Hedge Funds and the Technology Bubble," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2013-2040, October.
  28. Detemple, Jerome & Murthy, Shashidhar, 1997. "Equilibrium Asset Prices and No-Arbitrage with Portfolio Constraints," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1133-74.
  29. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  30. Tirole, Jean, 1982. "On the Possibility of Speculation under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1163-81, September.
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