In the year Robinson Crusoe (1719) is delivered to the press, Defoe publishes a magnificent pamphlet where he mercilessly exposes the serious embezzlement he observes on the London stock market, throwing himself with tones that are at times sarcastic, at times vehement – against the speculation of that time. Just like Robinson Crusoe’s cannibals pounce on their poor victims, so stock-jobbers devastate the market, manipulating it. The text of 1719 has an antecedent in another similar libel of 1701. Neither text has been recently published in a fully annotated edition. Neither has ever been published in Italy, despite their undoubted value and historical-scientific interest. From these two small masterpieces, there emerge topics which, still today, are debated by anyone who considers the principles and rules that should govern the smooth and efficient functioning of financial markets.