The South Sea Bubble: 300 Years Later

2020 marks the 300-year anniversary of England’s most notorious speculative mania, and the first of many economic and financial crisis.

During the first half of 1720, the price of South Sea Company stock rose eight-fold reaching a peak in early July. Restrictions on the supply of shares, coupled with surging credit availability fueled the share buying bonanza. The fear of missing out on riches drove the share price even higher.

At its peak, the Company’s market worth was around twice the total value of all the land in England. Those…