A Brief History of the Stock Market

This article will give you a brief history of the stock market from its beginnings in 12th Century France and expanding into the world wide phenomena we have today.

They began in 12th century France when Courratiers de change started managing and regulating agricultural communities’ debts on behalf of banks. The Courratiers de change were essentially the first brokers.

The hub of trading had moved to Antwerp by the 1300s under the Van der Beurze family. Their home was the primary place of trading. News soon spread that the Van der Beurze was the place to go for all of the Flanders business.

The major commercial center in Venice got into the act in the mid 1300s. The first laws regarding insider trading developed here when, in 1361, the Venetian government outlawed the spreading of rumors intend to lower the price of government funds. Stock markets developed in Italy in Pisa, Verona, Genoa and Florence by the 1400s.

The Dutch began offering joint stock companies in the late 1500s. By 1602, the Dutch East India Company issued their first share on the Amsterdam Exchange which was the first company to offer stocks and bonds. The Dutch East India Company would go on to explore and colonize much of the world.

Many other developments that we now consider common developed on the Amsterdam exchange around that time including continuous trade, short selling, option trading, debt-equity swaps, merchant banking, unit trusts, and other such speculative instruments.

Today, stock markets exist in every developed country and many developing ones.

That’s a brief history of the stock market.