Sunday, October 5, 2008

the very first wall street bail out

The first recorded instance of a shady financial dealing on Manhattan was in 1626. The Dutch bought the island from some Indians who lived in Brooklyn rather than from the Weckquaesgeeks who actually lived on Manhattan. The Weckquaesgeeks, not recognizing the validity of this contract, resorted to a certain method of conflict resolution: Kill the Dutch.

The Dutch West India Company, the effective colonial government, decided to bail out the settlers in 1653 from the effects of the earlier questionable financial dealings. Under the direction of Peter Stuyvesant, defenses were strengthened by building a 12-foot-high wall of earth and timber across the southern end of the island.

Surveyors laid out a street along the wall or stockade in 1685. The wall was later dismantled in 1699 after the British took title of Manhattan from the Dutch. (A real estate transaction swapping Manhattan for Suriname in South America.) Of course this path became known as Wall Street.

Thus a bail out by a government led to the creation of Wall Street. It was merely the first, and certainly not the last bail out on Wall Street.

Be blessed.
RB

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