In the 1600s, the world’s first stock exchange was established in Amsterdam. In 1688, a trader by the name of Josef de la Vega wrote “Confusion Of Confusions” – the world’s oldest surviving account of trading stocks. The book is an amazing record of the business. Yet despite being written over 300 years ago, it sounds eerily familiar to our markets today. Continue reading “The Oldest Book Ever Written On Trading Stocks (It’s 330 years old!)”
With the dominance of market thinking, it is hard to argue against the exchange of some good or service between two consenting adults of money. However, Michael Sandel, Harvard Professor of Government, argues in “What Money Can’t Buy” that there are limits.
To give a sense of how pervasive markets are, he outlines the types of things that can now be bought and sold:
- A prison cell upgrade ($82 a night)
- The services of an Indian surrogate mother to carry a pregnancy ($6,250).
- The right to immigrate the US ($500,000)
- The right to shoot endangered rhinos ($150,000)
- Stand in line overnight in Capitol Hill to hold a place for a lobbyist to attend congressional hearing ($15-$20 per hour)
- Buy the life insurance policy for an elderly person, pay the premiums and then receive the death benefit when they die.