The Roots of Progress

A History of the Global Stock Market

From Ancient Rome to Silicon Valley

B. Mark Smith

Exactly what it says on the tin: a history of the stock market from its earliest beginnings to the present day.

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it. Like many books on finance, I find it harder than other histories to retain the details or the overall story. But I appreciated reading about the origins of public companies and stock markets in the Dutch East India Company, the crises of the South Sea Bubble in England and the Mississippi Company in France in 1720, how the railroads drove the growth of public companies and markets, the first hostile takeovers and the evolution of the “market for corporate control”, and how stock markets spread around the world and were interpreted and implemented by very different cultures.

Recommended for anyone interested in reading about finance.

Relevant posts: Funding models and progress

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