Lead: John Law organized something like the modern national financial system in 1717 in France, the scheme came to be known as the Mississippi Bubble.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Law convinced French rulers that he could revive their national economy which was mired in debt because of the free-spending previous king, Louis XIV. They chartered his company La Banque Générale to issue bank notes, paper money, in place of gold and silver. At first these notes were issued in limited amounts and worked like goldsmith's receipts, they could be exchanged for the face value in gold. Frenchmen trusted them, saw their economy begin to break out of the doldrums and their government beginning to pay off its debts. Law seemed to have created something of an economic miracle.