The economic potential of the Mississippi River Valley in and around Louisiana, but also points north, seemed like a surefire answer to France’s debt, back in the early 18th century. French Controller General of Finances, John Law, nationalized a private bank, created a joint-stock trading company to fund it, and developed a highly effective marketing scheme to promote investment and colonization in the region, leading ultimately to wild speculation and financial collapse.
Here is the story of one of the earliest economic “bubbles” — a lesson in “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” that continues to resonate today.
Curator: Marguerite Ragnow
Exhibit Designer: Darren Terpstra
What: The Mississippi Bubble: John Law and the Collapse of the French Economy, 1718–1720
When: September 14, 2020 through January 8, 2021
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, Wallin Center, Bell Gallery (ground floor)
Hours: Open during regular building hours at Elmer L. Andersen Library