• Banking and Finance in Historical Perspective
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40. Jahrgang | Jahr 2014 | Heft 1



Frans Buelens / Helma De Smedt / Hans Willems
The (De)regulation of the Brussels Stock Exchange around 1865–1875
Euronext Brussels has her roots in the Stock Exchange of Brussels which was founded in 1801. At that time the Southern Netherlands were part of the French empire of Napoleon. He decreed that in every city where commercial activities were of paramount importance a stock exchange must be founded. All these stock exchanges became government controlled and regulated. In Belgium, the inheritance of Napoleon’s strictly regulated stock exchanges stood firmly until 1867. Neither the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830) nor the Belgian Independence (1830) altered fundamentally the stock exchange system. In the meanwhile Belgium turned out to be the first industrial state on the European continent. The severe regulation of stock exchanges was no longer adapted to the needs of the fast evolving capitalist development. New legislation in 1867 brought complete deregulation and so installed a liberal laissez-faire regime, which lasted until, once again, in 1934/35 a highly regulated system was introduced.

In our contribution we will focus on the history of Belgian stock exchanges in the 19th century and particularly on the shift in the regulation of the Brussels Stock Exchange in the period 1865–1875. In order to form a clear notion what was going on in that specific period, we firstly will highlight a few aspects of the preceding history of the Belgian stock exchanges […]