The Trouble with Stockjobbers: The South Sea Bubble, the Press and the Legislative Regulation of Markets

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The South Sea Bubble Act of 1721 is often taken as the first securities legislation. Further it is understood to be a response to a stock market scandal. In fact, the Act was enacted prior to the scandal and indeed the likely cause of the collapse of the stock bubble itself. This article reviews the historical context, including the finance of government of the era, the development of the South Sea Company and its bubble, the legislation, burst and subsequent effects. It places securities legislation in its historical context as part of a broader movement in corporate law, shifting liabilities and priorities among the members of the corporation and society at large.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
JournalNewcastle Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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