Before and After Former Wars and Other Special Crises
Following the passage of the Act on August 12, 1790, providing for the funding of the Revolutionary debt, the first recorded transactions in the new 6% bonds were at 70%. On December 31 the bonds were quoted at 90%. By August 1, 1791, they had advanced to par and on December 3, 1791, they were selling at 111%. On February 1 of the following year, 1792, they sold at 128%. This marked the climax of the speculation in the bonds, although during the entire year 1792 quotations ranged around 105% to 110%.
Prior to the War of 1812 what was known as the "old 6% stock," the same issue as that referred to above, was quoted in January, 1809, at 103%, and in July at 101½%, while the 3s were quoted at about 65%. In 1811 the 6s were quoted in the London market at 101% to 102% and the 3s at 65% to 70%. In 1812 the Government placed a new issue of 6% stock at par, but in 1813 was unable to obtain more than 88% for 6% stock. Taking this issue as a basis we find that in 1814 it sold at a low price of 85% and a high price of 93%. In January, 1815, it was selling as low as 76%. Following the declaration of peace it sold at 97½% in July. It maintained this price until about July, 1816, when it advanced to 99½%; in January, 1817, it was quoted at par and in January, 1818, at 106½%.
At the opening of the war in 1846 6% bonds were sold at prices ranging from 100 to 101, and in 1847 a large issue of 6s was placed at prices ranging from 101¼ to 102. The last battle of the war was fought in September, 1847. Quotations in the early part of 1847 for 6% stock were as high as 108⅞. Toward the end of the year prices fell off to about par. However, by August, 1848, prices had advanced to 1043/4 and in December to 107⅞. In 1849 the 6s sold at 109 in January, 110 to 111 in February and maintained this price in March. In May they had advanced to 112 and in June to 115. In 1850, the Government was able to sell 5% stock at par which was equivalent to about 120 for 6% stock.