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GFD Blog

The Hatry Group Collapse Much Ado About Nothing

Though few people have heard about the collapse of the Hatry Group of companies in September 1929, some people have claimed that it triggered the New York stock market crash of October 1929 and ultimately the Great Depression.  Our review of the facts has led us to believe that the collapse of the Hatry Group had little impact on financial markets, despite the claims to the contrary. Hatry no more caused the crash of 1929 than Bernie Madoff caused the Great Recession of 2008.

Clarence Hatry: Flamboyant Entrepreneur

Clarence Hatry was a dedicated self-promoter who ...

An Index for the First Two Centuries of Stock Markets

Global Financial Data has produced indices that cover global markets from 1601 until 1815 as a first step toward creating a World Index that provides data on equities from 1601 until 2018.  As we have discussed in another blog, “The Fifth Financial Era: Singularity,” you can divide financial market history over the past 400 years into four eras of Monopolies and Funds (1600-1815), Globalization (1815-1914), Regulation and Nationalization (1914-1981) and the Return to Globalization (1981-). At some point in the near future, global markets should move toward singularity in wh ...

The Fifth Financial Era: Singularity

Global Financial Data has produced indices that cover global markets from 1601 until 2018.  In organizing this data, we have discovered that the history of the stock market over the past 400 years can be broken up into four distinct eras when economic and political factors affected the size and organization of the stock market in different ways.  Politics and economics define the limits of financial markets by determining whether companies can exist in the private or the public sector, by controlling the flow of capital in financial markets, and by determining the level of regulat ...

The Five Eras of Financial Markets

Global Financial Data has produced indices that cover global markets from 1601 until 2018.  In organizing this data, we have discovered that the history of the stock market over the past 400 years can be broken up into four distinct eras when economic and political factors affected the size and organization of the stock market in different ways.  Politics and economics define the limits of financial markets by determining whether companies can exist in the private or the public sector, by controlling the flow of capital in financial markets, and by determining the level of regulat ...

World War 1 and Global Stock Markets

This month the world is marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I which officially ended at 11 am on November 11, 1918.  Few people, however, have talked about the impact of the Great War on financial markets, both during and after the war was over. Global stock markets closed when World War I began and the globalized economy which existed on July 31, 1914 didn’t return for 75 years.

Before World War I began, the world’s financial markets were integrated.  The gold standard fixed exchange rates between different countries. Russian bonds traded o ...

Global Financial Data’s 100-share United States Stock Index

Global Financial Data has calculated a 100-share index that is more comprehensive than existing long-term indices of the United States stock market.  GFD has collected historical data on U.S. shares from 1791 until 2017 and is using this database to calculate a more representative index of U.S. shares than is currently available.

The GFD-100 Index is superior to existing indices for three reasons.  First, the index is capitalization weighted from its beginning in 1791 until 2017.  Second, the selection of stocks is based upon all shares that were traded on U.S. exch ...

The Biggest Railroad in the World

Although few people remember it, the London and Northwestern Railway (LNWR) was the largest corporation in the world for over two decades. The London and Northwestern Railway is the only railway to rank as the largest corporation in the world.  No less than Charles Dickens pointed out that the LNWR was “wealthier than any corporation in the world.”  The railroad became the largest corporation in the world in 1865 when its rapid growth and acquisition of other railways made it bigger than the Bank of England. The LNWR kept this position until the rise of Standard Oil in ...

A Billion Dollars Just Ain’t What It Used to Be

There are several people who have lost over $1 billion in the markets, with two people, Bruno Iksil and Howie Hubler alleged to have lost $9 billion, but I know of only one person who managed to lose over $1 billion twice.  The winner of this award is Nelson Bunker Hunt who lost his first billion in oil and his second billion in silver. And in each case, it wasn’t just one billion dollars that he lost, but several billion. And in both cases, Hunt blamed the government, rightfully so, for the losses he incurred.

Nelson Bunker Hunt was the son of oil wildcatter H.L. Hunt, ...

Ticker Mnemonics in the Global Financial Database

One of the questions I hear from customers is how to find a particular file among the 150,000 files that are included in the GFDatabase. Is there any shortcut or rule of thumb I can use to find the file I’m looking for? The answer is yes. Global Financial Data has made the search for some files easy by using codes that will enable users to put together with some degree of accuracy the tickers that are used for different files.  This tutorial is designed to help you understand how codes are put together to create many of the most-often used tickers that are used in the GFDatabase< ...