YouTuber Tom Scott visited New Haven, Connecticut to take a look at a perpetual bond that’s 367 years old from the Lekdijk Bovendams water authority in the Netherlands that is being housed at Yale University. Scott spoke with Professor of Corporate Finance Professor Rouwenhorst about the bond and was surprised to learn that it was still earning interest after all this time.
In 1648, the Water Board of Lekdijk Bovendams needed to repair these embankments to make sure that this bit of the Netherlands didn’t flood. For that, they needed money,
so they sold a bearer bond. Whoever owned that bond would get a little bit of money back from them every year. But, unlike modern bonds, they didn’t set a time limit on that.