The world’s first stock exchange | Lodewijk Petram

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Pieter Bast - Map of Amsterdam (1597), detail, Amsterdam City Archives Forward Contract (1644), National Archives, The Hague Picture Lodewijk Petram by Merlijn Doomernik C.J. Visscher, Amsterdam Exchange of Hendrick de Keyser (detail), etching, Collection Stichting VvdE
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Cover The world's first stock exchangeThe world’s first stock exchange is a lively book that takes us back to seventeenth-century Amsterdam, where the Dutch East India Company issued the world’s earliest shares. Lodewijk Petram describes in detail the main players, investors, shady characters, speculators, and domestic servants and other ordinary folk, who all played a role in the development of the Amsterdam stock market and its crises.
His history clarifies concerns that investors still struggle with today, and does so in a way that is vivid, relatable, and critical to understanding our contemporary financial predicament. Read more

The world’s first stock exchange is published by Columbia University Press. Order online



Picture Lodewijk Petram, © Merlijn Doomernik Lodewijk Petram is available for speaking engagements and interviews on the history of the world’s first stock exchange.

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Reviews of The world’s first stock exchange

  • Gregory Clark, University of California, Davis — “This book is a wonderfully textured account of the rise of stock trading in seventeenth century Amsterdam.”
  • Russell Shorto, Author of Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City — “Lodewijk Petram takes us back to 1602, when it all began, and shows how the major elements of the financial life of our time came into being. This is a clear and vital book.”
  • Richard Sylla, NYU Stern School of Business — “While modern Wall Street may have succeeded Amsterdam as the leading market, what goes on there is hardly new.”
  • Ailsa Röell, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University — “This is an extremely accessible and clear description of a fascinating topic.”
  • Joost Jonker, NEHA Professor of Business History, University of Amsterdam — “Petram’s book is a very good example of that rare specimen, a financial history book for a popular audience.”

Full list of reviews


Forward Contract (1644), National Archives, The HagueThe world’s first stock exchange is based on a PhD research project. Read more about Lodewijk Petram’s PhD-thesis on the development of the stock exchange in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.