The Royal Scam: Global Repercussions of the Great Potosi Mint Fraud of 1649

This event last occurred April 11, 2017

This talk examines a massive financial fraud that originated in the remote silver mining town of Potosi, Bolivia. The great mint fraud of 1649, which spanned more than two decades, rocked the financial world of Habsburg, Spain, its colonies, Spain's European creditors and global money markets as distant as Southeast Asia. The discovery and suppression of this criminal enterprise constitute a forgotten chapter in world history.

Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in colonial Latin American history at Tulane University. Lane’s current project, "Treasury of the World No More: The Great Potosí Mint Fraud of 1649," examines the world's largest debasement scam in early modern world history, one that reverberated globally for decades. Lane's previous books include "Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires" (Yale, 2010), "Quito 1599: City and Colony in Transition" (New Mexico, 2002), and "Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1750" (M.E. Sharpe, 1998, 2d. ed. Routledge, 2015). 

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research and the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

For more information contact:

School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies


Institute for Humanities Research

University Center Building B, room 266, West campus