Photo: Csh012 Wikimedia,

This Week in Trading History: The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

This week in trading history sees the birth of Roy Disney, the death of Michael Jackson, a message from Mars, and the historic assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand...

22nd June

U.S congress authorised the insurance of international currency, making it the first official paper currency of the United States. At first only $2m continentals were issued but during the midst of the revolutionary war, more than $280m continentals were eventually issued. By 1781 the currency was nearly worthless.

MB Associates, the home improvement store, first opened their doors on this day. In 1981 MB Associates became Home Depot. In 2019 Home Depot had a revenue of $110.2bn and in June 2020 stocks were traded for $250.85 per share.

Dell Computers launched their IPO at $8.50 per share. The company was valued at $85m. Dell’s stock became one of the best performing stock through the 90’s, and at Dell’s peak in March 2000 one share was worth $58.13, a rise of 64,488% from its IPO. In June 2020, Dell’s stocks were priced at $47.52 per share and in 2018 the company was worth $70bn.

23rd June

John Jacob Astor established the Pacific Fur Company, although his operations were disrupted by the War of 1812 when his trading post was destroyed. Astor then used his fur company to cover up his lucrative opium smuggling company, until he retired to a life of luxury.

The Long-Term Credit Bank in Japan became another in the many financial institutions in Japan to report record losses due to the property price bubble bursting. The LTCB reported a drop in share price of 45% in the day’s trading. The bank eventually became nationalised and was eventually sold, it is now known as Shinsei Bank.

24th June

Roy Oliver Disney was born on this day. With his younger brother Walt, they created what is now known to the world as the Walt Disney Company. Roy Disney was the president of the company and then became the chairman after Walt died. He named Walt Disney World in Florida in praise of his brother’s creativity.

AT&T bought Tele-Communications Inc. for $48bn. The deal meant that AT&T has connections in roughly 33 million homes across the US. As of June 2020, AT&T’s net worth is $221.1bn.

25th June

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson died. The huge surge of news surrounding the death caused the Internet to crash from user overload. Google initially believed that the millions of searches was a DDoS attack and subsequently blocked all searches related to Michael Jackson for 30 minutes. Wikipedia reported nearly a million visitors to Jackson’s biography within an hour and AOL messenger crashed for 40 minutes.

The last remaining statue of Soviet leader Stalin was removed in Gori Georgia. The statue was removed secretly overnight and sent to Stalin’s hometown to stand in a museum dedicated to him. A memorial dedicated to the victims of the 2008 war was erected in its place.

26th June

The first ever race in the French Grand Prix was held in Le Mans, this was the first race of its kind and set the groundworks for the international Grand Prix circuit that we know today.

AMP Inc. forced 22,000 employees to take “mandatory furloughs” in the form of a week without pay or a “week-long holiday”. As well as this, 2,200 workers took a voluntary early retirement. Sales at AMP had been hit hard by the Asian economic crisis, and despite efforts to avoid laying off employees, over 4,000 employees were fired. When Tyco International Ltd bought out AMP a further 15% of the workforce was let go.

27th June

Gordon Brown became the prime minister of the United Kingdom. His opposition David Cameron, called for a general election immediately as Brown had not earned his position through voters but through the resignation of former prime minister Tony Blair. Brown remained in office until 2010 when Cameron eventually succeeded him.

One month after the NASA Mars Phoenix landed on Mars to undertake a three-month study on the geological history of the planet, its findings shocked the scientific community. The Martian soil was reported to be much more alkaline than expected and contained traces of magnesium, sodium, potassium and other elements, all of which concluded that there are sufficient nutrients to support life on Mars.

28th June

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Although on this day the markets remained quiet - the Dow fell 0.11 points - it wasn’t until a month later when stock markets began to close due to tensions of a looming world war intensifying. The New York Stock exchange closed on the 13th of July and remained closed until December 15th 1914.

The Beijing Olympic venue, the Bird's Nest, was finally completed. It was here that the opening and closing ceremony would take place, and the entire project cost the country $500m.