Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A lesson from 1721

The South Sea Bubble ended in the imprisonment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Aislabie:

The South Sea Company had been built on high expectations which it could never fulfil, and it collapsed in August 1720. An investigation by Parliament found that Aislabie had been given £20,000 of company stock in exchange for his promotion of the scheme. He resigned the Exchequer in January 1721, and in March was found guilty by the Commons of the "most notorious, dangerous and infamous corruption". He was expelled from the House, removed from the Privy Council, and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Aislabie was replaced by Robert Walpole, who became in effect Britain's first modern-style Prime Minister - who earlier had spent six months in the Tower in 1712, as a result of unjust impeachment by his political enemies.

Now, who will be properly prosecuted and properly punished for a man-made disaster that has undermined the world's banking system?


AntiCitizenOne said...

Is John Aislabie almost an anagram of Alan Greenspan?

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

"who will be properly prosecuted and properly punished" - as ever these days, NOBODY.

However, a LOT of people are going to suffer.