A 367 Year Old Perpetual Bond From Water Authority in the Netherlands That Is Still Earning Interest

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.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.