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GFD Blog

A Revised Index for South Africa

Global Financial Data has collected data on companies from South Africa that listed in London during the 1800s and 1900s. Between 1835 and 1985, over 400 South African companies listed in London.  Before 1890, there were fewer than 20 South African companies in London, but once gold was discovered in the 1890s, the number of South African companies mushroomed, increasing to 45 in 1890 and over 100 by 1902. South African companies also listed in Paris where they traded on the Coulisse Exchange as well as in Amsterdam, Berlin and other stock exchanges because European investors wanted to ...

Argentina: The Ever-Emerging Market

Argentina is one of the most interesting countries among emerging markets. Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world in the 1920s, but now doesn’t even make the top 50. Argentina was downgraded from emerging market status by MSCI to being a frontier market in 2009 when President Cristina Fernandez imposed capital controls making it difficult for foreigners to invest. Mauricio Macri became the leader of Argentina in 2015 and worked to undo the financial harm that Cristina Fernandez had imposed on the country. Argentina was able to issue a 100-year bond in June 2017, b ...

French Investors and the Revolution of 1848

The Revolution of 1848 in Paris produced the most dramatic drop in the price of stocks and bonds in French history.  The stock market dropped in value over 70% when prices collapsed like a waterfall.  It took years of political stability for the market to recover from this collapse. 

GFD has daily data on the behavior of Banque de France stock, France’s 5% Consolidated bonds and other shares which enable us to analyze how the market responded to the Revolution.  What we discovered was that the events of the Revolution of 1848 directly impacted the market, ...

Investors and the French Revolution

Most people know the basic story of the French Revolution.  France’s aid to the United States indebted the nation leading to new taxes that fed a revolt against the king and the aristocracy. The Estates General was convened in May 1789, and on July 14, 1789, the Bastille was stormed marking the beginning of the French Revolution. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was passed and feudalism was abolished in August 1789. France became a republic in September 1792 and in January 1793, King Louis XVI was executed. A dictatorship gained power in 1793 under Robespierre and the Committ ...

Events in Time Anniversaries: April 2019

25 years ago: April 1994

S&P 500: 450.91 (vs. 2867.24 in 04/2019)

10-year U.S. Government Bond Yield: 7.06% (vs. 2.52% in 04/2019)

Gold: $376.45 (vs. $1293.50 in 04/2019)

Oil: $16.915 (vs. $61.59 in 04/2019)

GBP/USD: 1.4835 (vs. 1.309 in 03/2019)

US GDP: 7,013 billion (vs. 20,891 billion in 12/2018)

US Population: 260 million (vs. 328 million in 2019)

04/04/1994: Stock and bond prices tumble again. The 14% decline in bond prices from late January to early April is the biggest downturn since 1987. Marc Andr ...

Romanian Stocks Before World War II

Global Financial Data has the most extensive database on historical stocks available anywhere in the world.  GFD has collected data on stocks that listed on the London Stock Exchange from the 1600s until 2018.  London was the financial center of the world until World War I, and many companies in emerging markets listed their shares on the London Stock Exchange before a stock exchange even existed in that country. Using data from London and the United States, GFD has calculated stock market indices for emerging markets during the 1800s and 1900s before stocks listed on local exchan ...

750 Years of Interest Rates

Global Financial Data has collected centuries of data on interest rates. We wanted to highlight two data sets from the GFD Indices that cover government bond yields from 1285 to 2019 and that cover central bank deposit rates from 1522 until 2019. With these two charts, you can see how unusual the current decline in interest rates is, pushing yields down to levels that hadn’t been reached during the past seven centuries.

Government Bonds

Figure 1 provides data on the yields on government bonds from 1285 until 2019. During the past 700 years, the financial center of the worl ...