Financial Institutions and Liquidity of Public Debt in England [1694 – 1720]
de Boyer des Roches, Jérôme; Bentemessek, Nesrine (2011-06), Financial Institutions and Liquidity of Public Debt in England [1694 – 1720], 28th GdRE Annual International Symposium on Money, Banking and Finance, 2011-06, Reading, Royaume-Uni
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title28th GdRE Annual International Symposium on Money, Banking and Finance
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Abstract (EN)The methods England took to restructure its public debt during the British Financial Revolution consisted of improving liquidity. Accordingly, the State sought to reestablish its solvability by basing its debt on tax revenues as well as to homogenize it, reduce its cost and improve the functioning of the primary and secondary markets of the debt. Finally, it favored the creation of new institutions, i.e., the establishment of companies with stocks whose commercial and/or financial activities would be connected to its debt. The Bank of England and the South Sea Company, created in July 1694 and September 1711 respectively, are two prime examples of this. In this article, we highlight the role of these two financial institutions in the process of the creation of liquidity through the restructuring of the national debt. We establish the fundamental differences between the financial experiments led by these two establishments. Indeed, if the project of converting the titles of national debt into shares of the South Sea Company led to the creation of the South Sea Bubble, the circulation of short-term government bonds (exchequer bonds) by the Bank of England after 1707 constituted an unrivaled financial success. Finally, we discuss the diverging commentaries of Hume (1752), Steuart (1767) and Smith (1776) on these financial experiments.
Subjects / KeywordsPublic debt, liquidity; Bank of England; South Sea Company
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