2017년 11월 5일 일요일

[발췌: 혼돈 속의 혼돈] 호세 데 라 베가의 묘사


※ 발췌 (excerpts):


출처 1: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds and ConfusiÃ3n de Confusiones (Charles Mackay, Martin S. Fridson. John Wiley & Sons, 1996)
자료: 구글도서


INTRODUCTION

Hermann Kellenbenz. 1957.

Whoever comes to know Joseph Penso de la Vega's ^Confusion de Confusiones^ will recognize at once that he is concerned with a literary oddity. Here is a book written in Spanish by a Portuguese Jew, published in Amsterdam, cast in dialogue form, embellished from start to finish with biblical, historical, and mythological allusions, and yet concerned primarily with the business of the stock exchange and issued as early as 1688. Such a volume obviously requires a good deal of explaining.

Let us begin by identifying the ethnic group to which the author belonged. This was Sephardic community of Amsterdam, the term "Sephards" being given to those Jews whose ancestors had lived on Iberian peninsular--in contrast to the term "Ashkenasim," which was used to designate Jews of central or eastern European origin. During the 15th century great pressure was exerted by the Church authorities in Spain and Portugal to induce the Jews (and equally the Moors) resident there to accept Christianity. ( ... ... ) It is probably also true, relative to the second immigration, that some of the Jews in Spain and Portugal were attracted to the cities of northern ( ... ... )

( ... ... ) Leastways, a contemporary of Joseph de la Vega--a knowledgeable "Englishman Gentleman" writing in 1701 in his ^Description of Holland"--stated that "the Jews are the chief in that Trade [of stock speculation], and are said to Negotiate 17 parts in 20" of the main business, that of trading in shares of the East India Company. Accordingly, there is good reason to believe that Joseph de la Vega as a member of the Amsterdam Jewish community had satisfactory access to information about the speculation in shares in that city.

( ... ... )

VI

An understanding of the data in ^Confusion de Confusiones^ relative to the operations of the stock exchange at Amsterdam is dependent upon the following explanations of statements or implications to be found on its pages.

1. The security chiefly involved was the stock of the Dutch East India Company--an enterprise that had been launched in 1602 and that had prospered handsomely. The stock of the Dutch West India Company played a much less considerable role. ( ... ... )

2. ( ... ... )

3. When the company was launched, the stock was taken up by the merchants of several cities in the country. The merchant stock-owners in the several communities were organized into distinct local "chambers," which in turn participated in the governing of the company. Amsterdam possessed the largest portion of the total number of shares, but some of the stock held elsewhere changed hands from time to time, at surprisingly large divergencies from the Amsterdam prices. But de la Vega confines his discussion almost wholly to the Amsterdam situation.

4. The elements in the market at Amsterdam were as follows: wealthy investors; occasional speculators, mostly merchants of the city; persistent speculators, either in real stock or in a lower-denomination substitute; the Bank of Amsterdam; persons who loaned money with stock as security (who may also individually have been "wealthy investors"); brokers of various types; "rescunters," for the settlement of "differences" relative to transactions in real shares, and at least one comparable individual who had, until shortly before 1688, adjusted "differences" relative to transactions in the substitute (ducaton) stock.

5. ( ... ... )

* * *

CONFUSION DE CONFUSIONES

First Dialogue

[At the beginning of the book, the merchant speaks of the emblems of Mercury, the god of the merchants, as constituting good symbols for the activities of his fellow businessmen. The philosopher, with witty metaphors based on the words "cash," "bank," and other business terms, stresses, in contrast, the tranquility of a savant's life. The shareholder breaks in, leading the discussion to a specific form of business, that in stocks, whereupon the philosopher raises a question:]

Philosopher: And what kind of business is this about which I have often heard people talk about which I neither understand nor have ever made efforts to comprehend? And I have found no book that deals with the subject and makes apprehension easier.

Shareholder: I really must say that you are an ignorant person, friend Greybeard, if you know nothing of this enigmatic business which is at once the fairest and most deceitful in Europe, the noblest and the most infamous in the world, the finest and the most vulgar on earth. It is a quintessence of academic learning and a paragon of fraudulence; it is a touchstone for the intelligent and a tombstone for the audacious, a treasury of usefulness and a source of disaster, and finally a counterpart of Sisyphus who never rests as also of Ixion who is chained to a wheel that turns perputually.

Philosopher: Does my curiosity not deserve a short description from you of this deceit and a succinct explication of this riddle?

Merchant: ( ... ... )

댓글 쓰기