January 2, 2013
Mueller, Reinhold C. (1987) I banchi locali a Venezia nel Tardo Medioevo. Studi Storici, 28/1: 145-55.
There is a lot to be admired in Austrian economists, their resilience, their attachment to simple elegant ideas and their sound understanding of the long-term factors that give the economy its cyclical nature. But one must admit that their Ludite-like hatred for finance is to the very least puzzling. They claim to trust nothing but gold and they would like to see the activity of banks restricted to little more than a locker service. Their trust in free market and in the adaptive nature of human ingenuity ends at the door of their local branch of HSBC. Read the rest of this entry »
November 17, 2009
In Italy, the law of 1862 recognized as “pious organization” along with orphanages and hospitals: “public breastfeeding places” (“i ricoveri per gli allattamenti in commune degli infanti”). I have no idea what it might look like, but surely it ought to have been a sight worth seeing.
source Emidia Vagnoni, Enrico Bracci and Laura Maran “Saint Anna Hospital in Ferrara (Italy): accounting and management in the XVII and XVIII centuries”.
October 20, 2009
Seurot, François (2002) “Les crises bancaires en Italie au Moyen Age: un essai d’applicationn de la théorie de Minsky-Kindleberberger”, paper presented at the XIX Journée d’économie monétaire et bancaire, 21p.
This paper is available online (pdf).
Following a long tradition, Minsky and Kindleberger  have based their analysis of financial crises in the early modern and modern periods on their vision of credit as intrinsically unstable and thus naturally prone to crashes. Their model is based on five steps:
- An exogenous shock modifies the incentive system the economy is based upon.
- These new incentive channel credit toward a given sector and produces a localized economic boom.
- Euphoria leads to the overestimation of the ROI and to overtrading.
- Fundamentals are reconsidered and credit dries up.
- Torschlusspanik, or bank rush (p.1). Read the rest of this entry »
October 16, 2009
A’Hearn, Brian (2005) Finance-led divergence in the regions of Italy. Financial History Review, 12/1: 7-41.
After the unification, the Italian South did not catch up with the North, on the contrary they engaged on a divergent path as the per capita income gap increased from 15-25% to 55% in the first 50 years (p.7). This continuing disparity may be explained by the sore state of the southern banks which could have been unable to support and finance local development (finance-led growth argument; p.9). However, initial evidence seems not to support this hypothesis, as the share of the Mezzogiorno in the banking activity of the country was in line with the relative economic weight of the region (p.10). Read the rest of this entry »
October 8, 2009
Fontaine, Laurence (2008) “Entre banque et assistance: la création des monts-de-piété”, chapter 6 in L’Economie morale. Pauvreté, crédit et confiance dans l’Europe préindustrielle. Paris : Gallimard, p.164-189.
The first Monti di Pietà (or mounts) were created in 15th-century Italy by Recollet monks to shield the less-fortunate from the scourge of usury. It was not so much intended to pool the poor out of misery as to provide the struggling middle dwellers with a last safety net before falling into poverty (p.164). In the peninsula, the capital hoarded in the safes of the mounts was often diverted from its original aim to be loaned to the rich. It prevented the Italian mounts from becoming really successful. However their model spread over Europe. Read the rest of this entry »
September 28, 2009
Dagnino, Giovanni Battista (1995) “The Tavola di Palermo: The First Public Bank of Second European XVI century” in Proceedings of the Conference on Business History, October 24 and 25 1994, Rotterdam, eds Mila Davids, Ferry de Goey & Dirk de Witt, 91-111.
The evolution of Sicilian banks reflects the history of the island during the early modern period, in that they were “economically and financially backward” (p.91). The 16th century in the Western Mediterranean was a time of Spanish Domination dominated by (1) money clipping, (2) high inflation, (3) commercial mismanagement, (4) Gresham Law episodes fuelled by unscrupulous financiers and (5) heavy and altogether negative government interventions (p.93). Read the rest of this entry »
July 18, 2009
Well – mea culpa – the title is totally misleading: what you are about to read about is in no way the first public healthcare program, it is just a very old one, the rest is merely designed to attract the gullible reader. Sorry. Read the rest of this entry »
June 1, 2009
On Tuesday the 2nd, there will be an international conference on “Genre, Mobilités et Mobilisations” in the University of Paris 8. You can contact Marguerite Rollinde (GTM) on it.
On Wednesday the third, Irène Favier will present a paper named “Autour des restructurations industrielles dans la France du second XXe siècle : de Faverge à Vergèze”, in the Social and Politic History of the Economy seminar organized at the École Normale Supérieure. That same day begins the Sixth Annual Conference of the Italian Association for the History of Political Economy (STOREP), with the topic “Financial Crises in the Economists’ View”, in the University of Florence, Italy. The event will last two days: you can visit the conference site here. In the University of California at Los Angeles Haggay Etkes (Stanford University) presents “Legalizing Extortion: Protection Payments, Property Rights, and Economic Growth in Ottoman Gaza” in the VonGremp Workshop in Economic and Entrepreneurial History. In Colombia, Alberto G. Flórez-Malagón (History Department, Ottawa University) will present a book he edited on cattlefarming, “El poder de la carne. Historias de ganaderías en la primera mitad del siglo XX en Colombia”, at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 22, 2009
Epstein Stephen R. (2000) “The origins of protoindustry, c.1300-c.1550”, in idem Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, New York/London: Routledge/LSE, p.106-146.
“The growth of rural and small town textile manufactures for regional and supra-regional markets was among the most significant features of the late medieval economy” (p.106). It is usually assumed that this phenomenon arose due to the diseconomies caused by the inflexibility of the urban craft guilds, using the available underemployed rural workforce, and to respond to the increased popular demand for consumer goods following the shift in terms of trade between capital and labour which followed the Black Death. Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2009
Valentine day special (on the trashy side)
Dean, Trevor (2008) “Fornicating with nuns in fifteenth-century Bologna”, Journal of Medieval History, 34/3, 374-382.
In the mid years of the 15th century, the penalties for abducting or having sex with nuns became increasingly harsh in Northern Italy. In Lucca, the mere attempt to engage in sexual relations with nuns mandated decapitation. But most prosecuted case reveal a marked leniency, as most offenders were simply fined (p.376).
Having sex with nuns was a social activity. It required contacts within the nunneries and sometimes among the clergy. Numerous go-between broke encounters with nuns. Wet-nurses would take care of the babies born from nuns and interlopers (a widow in this case) helped the escapees. Read the rest of this entry »
February 4, 2009
Davis, Robert C. (1991) Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal. Workers and workplace in the preindustrial city, Baltimore/Londres: John Hopkins University Press, 270p.
While medieval and Renaissance Venice have fascinated historians, less has been written about the city in the 17th century. This book is about the community of the workers of the Arsenal (aka the arsenalotti) from 1620 to 1670.
The Arsenal was created in the 1100s and grew steadily until the 1300s. By that time, it had became a production plant and warehouse reaching a dimension unique in Europe. Read the rest of this entry »