The London Stock Exchange will observe a minute’s silence this week in commemoration of the share prices which fell during the First World War 100 years ago.
‘We will take time this week to remember the value of the shares that were lost so that today’s markets could flourish,’ said Exchange Chief Executive Xavier Rolex. ‘When war broke out the stock exchange was closed from late July 1914 until the New Year, everyone thought that it was just a bit of a jolly and that share prices would be back to pre-war levels by Christmas. But it wasn’t to be.’
The Exchange will also remember those who left to fight in the war and never came back. ‘They sacrificed their lives for our futures,’ said Rolex, ‘not to mention our complex derivatives.’
For trader Mark Evans the anniversary is particularly poignant. ‘My great-grandfather Herbert paid the ultimate price in the Great War,’ Evans said. ‘He just kept buying additional shares in gas-powered zeppelins instead of trench-digging equipment and mustard gas canister manufacturers. He never really recovered and had to retire to his mansion in Surrey at just 27. We don’t know how lucky we are, we really don’t’.