Thursday, July 19

A tale of sales

Manhattan was purchased from Native Americans (Lenape Tribe) in exchange for trade goods valued at 60 guilders, roughly $1000 in today’s money in 1626 AD.

In 1668 AD, not so far off, the British East India Company got hold of Mumbai for a cost of £10 per year from the British State (who inherited it as part of a dowry of a Portuguese Princess, who won it from the Gujarat Sultanate who won it from the Delhi Sultanate who won it from King Bhimdev and and and you get the idea).

Sultan Hussein Mohammad Shah sold Singapore as a trading place to Sir Stamford Raffles of the British EIC in 1819 for and I quote:

Sultan Hussein Mohamed Shah - To receive 5,000 Spanish Dollars annually
Temenggong Abdul Rahman - To receive 3,000 Spanish Dollars annually

Spanish Dollars, also famously known as pieces of eight. Did you know USA used this as legal tender till 1857? So Sultan would have got about $120,000 per year and a bit less for Abdul Rahman. Pricey, eh?

Nothing common other than these little places were sold for peanuts and now are worth and generating billions and trillions of dollars. Interesting random linkages…

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