Exchanges and Bourses, a History.
Exchanges and bourses in Russia have a long history. St. Petersburg exchange is no longer extant as the Bolsheviks had abolished the old exchange and so its continuity can be questioned. But that equally applies to most of Europe’s exchanges.
Don’t believe Wikipedia lies (the worthless and externally manipulated source of misinformation). Actually, Wikipedia is not a good source for any information except for some straightforward data like basic chemical formulas but even then you shouldn’t trust them.
Russia’s first exchange or the bourse dates from the year 1703. And it comes into the second tier of exchanges. Ahead of Spain and historical Central European monarchies, and of course far ahead of Eastern European ethno-startups, but far behind the Atlantic fringe: Hamburg- 1558, London Exchange – 1572, Amsterdam – 1602.
It was slightly younger than Berlin – the Berliner Bourse was founded in 1685 but surprisingly ahead of Paris, where la Bourse de Paris was founded on the orders of Louis XV in 1724 or the imperial Bourse in Vienna, founded also by imperial order, in 1771.
The Exchange Building
St,. Petersburg Exchange was modeled after the Amsterdam bourse. However, St. Petersburg was not Amsterdam in the 1700s, and the exchange languished until the end of the century. First, it was located in a specially built structure near St. Petersburg’s Trinity Square on St. Basil’s Island (Vassilievski ostrov) but at the end of the 18th century it relocated to a new magnificent structure.
Designed by Thomas de Thomon, this was a Grecian temple of vast proportions, fit to house the statue of Zeus, one of the world’s wonders, a building that remains overpowering, mysterious, and dazzling. The St. Petersburg’s Exchange deserves a separate entry that may as well come. Here is a design plan for the exchange building. Scroll to the middle of the page to see the drawing.
Under Count Cancrin (often misspelled as Kankrin), Russia’s brilliant finance minister under Nicholas I, the statutes or the code of St. Petersburg Exchange was published, and a regulatory body, the Exchange Council or the Bourse Council, had been created.
After St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Exchange remained the nation’s sole bourse for almost a century. Once again an aristocratic personage, admiral Osip Mikhailovich Deribas (born as Josep de Ribas i Boyons), a Russian subject of Catalan origin who founded the modern Russian city of Odessa, and the 5th Duke of Richelieu (Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septemanie de Vignerot du Plessis, 5eme duc de Richelieu), a refugee from the French Revolution who became “naturalized” in modern terms and served as the governor of Novorossia and later also of Bessarabia and the governorate of Wollynia, stood at the origins of the mercantile exchange at Odessa. Founded in 1796 it became Russia’s second bourse.
(to be continued)
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