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VIDEO: Short Selling Stocks Was Invented As Revenge


In the early 1600s, there was only one stock and it didn't take long before a man named Isaac Le Maire tried to manipulate the price.

In the early 1600s, there was only one stock and it didn't take long before a man named Isaac Le Maire tried to manipulate the price.

NPR

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Four hundred years ago, Isaac Le Maire helped found the Dutch East India Company. (You might remember them from history class: Think big wooden boats, trips across rough seas, and lots and lots of spices).

Anyway, Le Maire got caught up in a dispute over some expense reports, and so his co-directors essentially banished him from the spice trade.

Anyone else might’ve backed away, but Le Maire wanted revenge. And so the short sell was born.

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