At the beginning of 1720, almost the whole of England thought that investing money in the South Sea Company was an admirable idea; by the end of 1720, they were equally convinced that the company was made up of nothing but rogues and vagabonds. What was the South Sea Bubble and how can we best explain this instance of mass speculation?
This lecture is part of Professor Pick's series, Rumour, Disease and the Madness of Crowds. The other lectures in this series are:
1665: The Great Pestilence of London
1848: The Chartists' Revolution in London
1888: Jack the Ripper
Miracle Cures: Spas, Shrines and Spirits
Gambling Fever: The Mirage of Sudden Riches
Professor John Pick was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric in 1985 and 1987. He was the founding professor of Europe's first Department of Arts Policy and Management at City University, London. He is Emeritus Professor of Arts Policy and Management at City University and Emeritus Visiting Professor in Arts Management at South Bank University.