I had the privilege of attending along with nearly 50 other participants the "Wealth and Debt Accumulation in Early Financial Markets" conference that was held at the Stockholm School of Economics September 13-14. The conference was organized by Elise Dermineur (Umea University/Stockholm School of Economics) and Håkan Lindgren (Stockholm School of Economics) who are both affiliated with the EHFF Institute for Economics and Business History Research at the Stockholm School. The conference united researchers working with a variety of historic sources of data on credit, wealth and debt but with very strong representation from probate inventories - an area that I have spent nearly thirty years working with.
Conference attendees were welcomed by Lars Strannegard, the President of the Stockholm School of Economcs and keynote addresses were by Carole Shammas (USC) titled "Why Did Finance Professionalize" and Phil Hoffman (CIT) titled "Dark Matter Credit". Along with paper sessions, there were also two round tables. On the Thursday, there was "The 'Market' as a Concept" which was moderated by Kristina Lilja (Uppsala) and the Friday afternoon saw "Women and Early Financial Markets" moderated by Ann McCants (MIT). The conference wrapped by with a discussion and plans for future collaborative international research moderated by Anders Perlinge (Stockholm School of Economics).
It was a lively, well organized and well attended conference with a lot of participation and interaction. It was frankly rewarding to see so many researchers working in areas similar or parallel to mine and with similar types of data. The strong resource base provided by Swedish probate records was particularly impressive and it is due to the hard work and initiative of Swedish researchers as well as generous research support. The research into probate inventories as well as support for the conference comes from the Handelsbanken Research Foundation, the Wallenburg Economic History Foundation, the Marcus Wallenburg Foundation for International Scientific Collaboration, the Jacob Wallenburg Foundation, the Ebbe Kock Foundation, the Gunvar and Josef Aner Foundation, and the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Let me conclude with a warm thank you to our hosts and research supporters or as they would say in Sweden - tack så mycket - and end with a few pictures from the conference.