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(Deliberately) The Limited Liability Company.

Which made Capitalism possible.

(Accidentally) The Limited Liability Partnership

Which allows us to fix it.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 07:45:30 AM EST
IIRC, the first limited liability company the "Société des moulins du Bazacle" was created in Toulouse in 1250 to build watermills on the Garonne. The uchaux (shares) could be sold at a price varying with the performance of the mills and the economic situation. At that time, an uchau was a part of a mill, but in 1370, it became a share of the company. During the XIXth century, the mills were transformed into an hydroelectric powerplant and the "Société des moulins du Bazacle" remained listed on the Toulouse stock exchange until 1946 when it was taken over by EDF through nationalisation...

The first multinational LLC was invented by the Dutch in 1602 (The Dutch East Indies Company).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 10:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corporate bodies (another Brit invention?), which go way back, were typically created through a Charter granted by the King. I think the Corporation of London was one of the first.

A Corporate body is a legal entity which has a continuing legal existence INDEPENDENT of its members. A Partnership may have a separate legal existence, but this is DEPENDENT on its Members - so a partnership ceases to exist when the penultimate partner leaves.

A Corporate body is a "legal person" able to "own" assets and enter into contracts in exactly the same way as an individual.

Joint Stock Companies are a much later innovation. I was aware of the Dutch East India Company, and had thought it the first such "Joint Stock" Company. Fascinated to read of the Bazacle entity therefore.

But I was in fact referring to the Limited Liability Company ("the Corporation") as the bedrock of Capitalism - all Companies prior to the UK legislation - the Limited Liability Act of 1855 - had unlimited liability, as far as I know.

BTW an LLC is something else again - the US Limited Liability Company is not actually a Corporate body (like the Joint Stock Limited Liability "Corporation"), but is an interesting beast in its own right, with many of the good qualities of a partnership.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 12:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To hear Szabo tell it, it was all the fault of the Genovese
by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 05:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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