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The World’s First Stock Exchange$
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Lodewijk Petram

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163781

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163781.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 23 February 2020

Angry Shareholders

Angry Shareholders

(p.51) 4 Angry Shareholders
The World’s First Stock Exchange

Lodewijk Petram

, Lynne Richards
Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the dispute between shareholders and the Dutch East India Company over the Company’s policy. In the early seventeenth century, Isaac le Maire, one of the founders of the Company, became embroiled in a protracted lawsuit with the directors of the Amsterdam chamber—his former colleagues. Why was le Maire suddenly at loggerheads with his fellow directors? The whole affair started with the management of the Company of the Fourteen Ships (Compagnie van de veertien schepen), where he was one of the directors. However, another dispute between le Maire and the Company is of greater significance. It was about Company shares. To make life difficult for the directors, le Maire had devised a very cunning plan: utilize the trade in VOC shares. The first step in le Maire’s syndicate’s plan was the forward selling of shares, followed by naked short selling. A ban on naked short selling put an end to le Maire’s illicit practices as far as share trading was concerned, but other shareholders began to express their dissatisfaction with the Company’s policy.

Keywords:   shareholders, Dutch East India Company, Isaac le Maire, directors, Amsterdam, Fourteen Ships, shares, forward selling, naked short selling, share trading

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