economics

Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

On July 29, 1805, French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville was born. He is best known for his Democracy in America, where he analyzed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Today, it is considered an early work of sociology and political science. “The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can…
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Nicole Oresme – Polymath of the Late Middle Ages

Nicole Oresme – Polymath of the Late Middle Ages

On July 11, 1382, significant philosopher of the later Middle Ages Nicole Oresme passed away. As for many historic people of the middle ages, his actual birthdate is unknown and can only be fixed to a period between 1325 and 1330. Nicole Oresme besides William of Ockham [7] or Jean Buridan — a French priest who sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe [6] — is considered as one of the most…
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Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

On June 16, 1723 (June 5 according to the old Julian calendar), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy Adam Smith was born. He is one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) “Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary,…
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John Maynard Keynes and his General Theory of Employment

John Maynard Keynes and his General Theory of Employment

On June 5, 1883, British economist John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron of Keynes, was born. His work and his ideas have fundamentally affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He is one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and is widely considered the most influential economist of the 20th century. “But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long…
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John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Company

John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Company

On April 6, 1808, Johann Jacob Astor founded the American Fur Company in New York. The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest businesses in the country and John Jacob Astor became the first multi-millionaire in the United States. “The first hundred thousand—that was hard to get; but afterwards it was easy to make more.” – James Jacob Astor, quoted…
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The Burst of the Tulip Bubble

The Burst of the Tulip Bubble

On February 3, 1637, in Haarlem, Netherlands, the tulip bulb contract prices collapsed abruptly and the trade of tulips ground to a halt. This should put an end to the ‘Tulip Mania‘, one of the first economic bubbles to burst. You see, financial crisis is not an invention of modern times. Already in the 17th century, in the early age of baroque, people went crazy for a good that was short of…
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Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

On January 23, 1571, the Royal Exchange in London was founded by the merchant Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The Protagonists On the afternoon of January 23rd, 1571, Queen Elizabeth [8] went from her Palace of Somerset House to dine with Sir Thomas Gresham at his fine mansion in Austin Friars. She went in state with her Trumpeters and Halberdiers, with Sir Thomas Gresham…
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Bill Gates – From Entrepreneur to Philantrop

Bill Gates – From Entrepreneur to Philantrop

On October 28, 1955 entrepreneur William Henry “Bill” Gates III, or simply Bill Gates, was born in Seattle, Washington. He has left his footstep in history with creating the incredibly successful operating system Microsoft Windows or his office application programs MS Word, MS Powerpoint, or MS Excel. Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other. – Bill Gates…
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Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, began in late October 1929 and was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The crash signaled the beginning of the 10-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries, in Germany also referred to as the “Weltwirtschaftskrise“. The optimism and financial gains of the Wall Street…
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The Invention of Financial Politics by Jean-Baptiste Colbert

The Invention of Financial Politics by Jean-Baptiste Colbert

On August 29, 1619, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who served as Minister of Finances under the rule of Louis XIV., was born. Colbert‘s innovative financial politics was one of the basic pillars of French absolutism and was about to change the world into a modern economy. “The art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to obtain the most feathers with the least hissing” – Jean-Baptiste Colbert Jean Baptiste Colbert – Early…
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