Lee, Higginson & Company Belgian investment letter, 1920

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Description

After World War I and during Belgium’s reconstruction period, American investment banks orchestrated opportunities to benefit from the peace terms. As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was required to pay war reparations to European countries, specifically Belgium.

Investment banks like Boston-based Lee, Higginson & Company encouraged its clients to purchase Belgium’s debt, predicting a 7% return. This letter, sent from the Portland office, outlines the economic potential.

While Belgium’s economy began to turn around by 1926, Lee, Higginson & Company closed in 1932 after suffering staggering loses in the famed ‘Swedish Match’ pyramid scheme.

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