Centre for Finance and Development
26 April 2022

Financial Developments in London in the Seventeenth Century: The Financial Revolution Revisited

Professor Nathan Sussman's new article explores the correlation between falling interest rates and financial development in 17th century London and Europe. 



A novel series of interest rates paid by the Corporation of London shows that interest rates in London declined by 350 basis points during the seventeenth century. The decline followed a similar pattern in Europe. Records from the Corporation’s archive provide evidence for financial development: an increase in the number and volume of debt instruments, an increase in the number of lenders, and the development of a secondary market. Econometric analysis establishes that increasing the debt instruments’ liquidity contributed to the convergence of interest rates between London and Amsterdam.

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