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414th anniversary Amsterdam exchange


Gong marks the exchange anniversary and interest payment on 17th century bonds

This year, the Amsterdam exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, celebrates its 414th anniversary. On this occasion, the interest will be paid on some ancient bonds that still pay interest ,   from the rich archive of the Amsterdam exchange, as managed by Stichting Capital Amsterdam.

In honor of this anniversary the gong will be sounded by Patrick Poelmann, chair (dijkgraaf) of Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden, the current successor of  the Utrecht dike board  Lekdijk Bovendams, that issued these bonds 400 years ago.

The Lekdijk Bovendams, a 33-kilometer dike from Amerongen to Vreeswijk(Nieuwegein), has been protecting Amsterdam and large parts of Holland and Utrecht from the water for centuries. After adike burst  in the early 17th century, the water board decided to issue interest letters to pay for the recovery.

These oldest known interest-bearing bonds of the world do not only symbolize the financial power of our country, but also touch on the "social" origin of the global stock market capitalism. Experts see an important explanation for the rise of capitalism in the Netherlands in the eternal struggle against water. Because of the constant flood threats that the country faced the Dutch were forced to keep money on hand for centuries and are joined in the fight against the water.

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