Stories of Banks and Bankers

الغلاف الأمامي
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 128 من الصفحات
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: IV. The South Sea Bubble. One of the more immediate consequences of the successful establishment of the Bank of England was the rise of a number of bubble companies, professedly engaged in banking, but in reality in cheating the public out of their money. The pioneer of these fictitious undertakings was a company called the Mine Adventurers of England, at the head of whom was Sir Humphrey Mackworth, who turned out to be one of the most clever rogues of the time. The Mine Adventurers had made banking their chief occupation, and their issue of notes in a short time became so large as seriously to alarm the Government and the directors of the Bank of England. To put a stop to the issue of notes? which was considered at the time an essential feature in banking; so essential, in fact, as to constitute the very foundation of the business? it was enacted by Parliament that during the continuance of the corporation of the Governorand Company of the Bank of England, it shall not be lawful for any body politic or corporate whatsoever to borrow, owe, or take up any sum or sums of money in their bills or notes payable at demand. The same clause prohibited the establishment of any bank with more than six partners: which law was enacted particularly as a protection for the Bank of England. It was so understood at the time, and it did indeed have the effect of preventing any other joint-stock bank from being formed for some time after. It did not prevent, however, the growth of the most colossal bubbles that ever appeared in the financial world. The crown and climax of these swindling concerns was the famous South Sea Company. The scheme was projected by Sir John Blunt, a pious scrivener, and shrewd speculator in the funds. He was accustomed to preach against the corruption and l...

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