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Anthropologists in the Stock ExchangeA Financial History of Victorian Science$
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Marc Flandreau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226360300

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226360584.001.0001

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The Learned Society in the Foreign Debt Food Chain

The Learned Society in the Foreign Debt Food Chain

(p.102) Chapter Five The Learned Society in the Foreign Debt Food Chain
Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange

Marc Flandreau

University of Chicago Press

This chapter takes a detailed look at the role of learned societies in the process of foreign debt origination. It uncovers the existence of tight links between the securitization of a railway line and navigation company in Bolivia, colonization schemes and geographical and anthropological science. The example of George E. Church’s Bolivian loan of 1872 provides opportunity to clarify the role of learned societies in the “foreign debt food chain”. Learned societies, I argue, became an instrument of certification essential in the process of floating risky and hard to evaluate foreign securities.

Keywords:   Bolivia, Ecuador, colonization companies, Isidor Gerstenberg, George E. Church, bondholders, certification

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