Dutch Corporate Finance, 1602-1850
Early Modern Dutch corporate finance had two notable features, a remarkable ease of raising large amounts of capital and a flexible legal framework. Having pioneered new corporate forms with two intercontinental trading companies, Dutch business adopted such forms on a wider scale only during the 18th century, when economic concentration and consolidation led to the appearance of business units large enough to need them. The financial intermediation and legal institutions available also facilitated early industrialization during the 19th century, up to and including the railways. The large export of capital throughout the period under consideration failed to harm economic development at any point or in any way.
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