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Happy Birthday, Share!

September 10, 2010

No, not Cher (who turned 64 on May 20). The share — as in stocks, securities.  The first known share in history, it turns out, was purchased on yesterday’s date in 1606, by a Dutchman by the name of Pieter Harmensz, for stock in the Dutch East India Company.  So the share turned 404 yesterday. Happy birthday, share!

All this detail has only recently come to light. The original document held by Harmensz was just discovered in a vault in the Dutch city of Enkuisen.

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