Comedy and Catastrophe: Quincampoix in the Kalverstraat



The South Sea Bubble marks an important moment, not only in the history of banking and finance, but also where the cultural impact of finance on both the global and national scenes is concerned. As Daniel Defoe complained at the height of the Bubble in England, the Mississippi Bubble in France and its counterpart in England were symptomatic of “The Chimera or The French Way of Paying National Debts”. On the other hand, in the wake of the bubble scheme developed in France by Scotsman John Law, the French sustained what Finel-Honigman has called “a classic case of collective financial memory” based on their experience with Law’s experiment, so that “there was hesitation in even pronouncing the word bank for 150 years thereafter” (12). Yet, although considerable trade was conducted in the Netherlands in both bubbles, as well as in Dutch companies, the impact of the crisis in the Netherlands has received little attention in international scholarship.

The Business History Seminar is organised by the Business History Centre and has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication