Forum Post: Alexander Hamilton, unwitting Pandora of American Capitalism, on the first Wall Street bubble in US history
Posted 11 years ago on Jan. 4, 2012, 7:27 p.m. EST by Bloom
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“I observe that certain characters continue to sport with the Market & with the distresses of their fellow Citizens. ‘Tis time there should be a line of separation between honest Men & knaves; between respectable stockholders and dealers in the funds, and mere unprincipled Gamblers. Public infamy must restrain what the law cannot.
This spirit must be cultivated among the friends of good government and good principles. The relaxations in a just system of thinking, which have been produced by an excess of the spirit of speculation must be corrected. And Contempt and Neglect must attend those who manifest that they have no principle but to get money."
— Alexander Hamilton to Philip Livingston, April 2, 1792, in which he justifies keeping his cousin William Duer - who caused an economic bubble through speculation activities - in prison.