economics

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” – Colbert Jean-Baptiste Colbert basically did not have…
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Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

On August 19, 1848, the the New York Herald, a major newspaper of the American East Coast printed the exciting news that gold has been found on the West Coast, which caused thousands of immigrants from all over the world to travel to California hoping to to find wealth and glory. The story began some months earlier, in January 1848. James Marshall constructed a saw mill for the pioneer John Sutter at…
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Charles Dow and his Famous Stock Index

Charles Dow and his Famous Stock Index

On July 3 1884 Charles Henry Dow together with his colleague Edward Jones composed and published an stock average – called the Dow Jones Railroad Average -, which contained nine railroads and two industrial companies. He developed the stock index as part of his market research and it was meant to serve as a reference value to determine fluctuations of the stock market. It first appeared in the Customer’s Afternoon Letter, a daily…
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