When Amsterdam developed the world’s first stock exchange, the Beurs, it was here in the heart of the city. That arch in front of you, the Beurspoort, is all that’s left of it. The stock exchange grew out of shipping. During the medieval period, people invested in an individual voyage. If the ship returned, they made a profit. If it sank or was attacked, they lost their investment. (Shakespeare nerds may remember that’s how a certain merchant in Venice defaulted on his loan.) The VOC (Dutch East India Company) distributed that risk by selling shares in itself as it made multiple voyages and set up colonies.