After the Napoleonic Wars, European nations began raising capital in London and on the continent. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, South American countries had gained their independence from Spain, and the prospect of investing in countries that provided silver to the world led to a flurry of government debt being issued in the early 1820s, a bubble in the mid-1820s and defaults in the late 1820s.
Global Financial Data follows the rise and fall of foreign government bonds during the 1820s, including the bonds of Poyais, a fictitious country that only existed in the mind of Gregor McGregor, but was used to defraud London investors of over 100,000 pounds.
The foreign government bond market grew throughout the 1800s. After the 1860s as capital became more available, yields began to fall, and the number of countries that listed bonds on the London Stock Exchange grew. By the end of the 1800s, hundreds of foreign government bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange as yields hit lows not to be reached again until the Financial Crisis of 2008.
The database also includes extensive data on corporate bonds as well. In the early 1800s, most securities issued by corporations were equities, but as the railroads grew and became more established, they began issuing bonds. By the end of the 19th Century, most companies were issuing common stocks, preferred stocks and bonds.
Throughout the 250-year period when London dominated world financial markets, from 1689 to 1939, bonds represented the majority of the capital on the London Stock Exchange and GFD provides comprehensive data on these securities during that period.