суббота, 30 июня 2012 г.

BANKING IN CATALONIA IN THE FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES: THE T AULA DE CANVI

The emergence of private banks in Barcelona coincided with the development of private banking in large Italian business centers. During the reign of Jaime I, the Conqueror, (1213–1276), the Gothic and Roman laws governing business
were repealed and replaced by the Usos de Barcelona. In addition, a thorough, detailed set of regulations to control banking was established by the Cortes of 1300–1301. It set down the powers, rights, and responsibilities of bankers, and stipulated requirements with respect to guarantors. Some of the rules adopted are quite relevant to our topic.
For example, on February 13, 1300 it was established that any banker who went bankrupt would be vilified throughout Barcelona by a public spokesman and forced to live on a strict diet of bread and water until he returned to his creditors the full amount of their deposits. Furthermore, on May 16, 1301,
one year later, it was decided that bankers would be obliged to obtain collateral or guarantees from third parties in order to operate, and those who did not would not be allowed to spread a tablecloth over their work counter. The purpose was to make clear to everyone that these bankers were not as solvent as those using tablecloths, who were backed by collateral.

Any banker who broke this rule (i.e., operated with a table-cloth but without collateral) would be found guilty of fraud.
In view of these regulations, Barcelona’s banking system must initially have been quite solvent and banks must have largely respected the essential legal principles governing the monetary bank deposit.
Nevertheless, there are indications to show that, in spite of everything, private bankers soon began to deceive their clients, and on August 14, 1321 the regulations pertaining to bank failures were modified. It was established that those bankers who did not immediately fulfill their commitments would be declared bankrupt, and if they did not pay their debts within one year, they would fall into public disgrace, which would be proclaimed throughout Catalonia by a town crier. Immediately afterward, the banker would be beheaded directly in front of his counter, and his property sold locally to pay his creditors. In fact, this is one of the few historical instances in which public authorities have bothered to effectively defend the general principles of property rights with respect to the monetary bank-deposit contract. While it is likely that most Catalonian bankers who went bankrupt tried to escape or pay their debts within a year, documentary evidence shows that at least one banker, a certain Francesch Castello, was beheaded directly in front of his counter in 1360,
in strict accordance with the law.
Despite these sanctions, banks’ liquid funds did not match the amount received on demand deposit. As a result, they eventually failed en masse in the fourteenth century, during the same economic and credit recession that ravaged the Italian financial world and was studied by Carlo M. Cipolla.
Though there are signs that Catalonian banks held out a bit longer than Italian ones (the terrible penalties for fraud undoubtedly raised reserve ratios), documents show that in the end, Catalonian banks also generally failed to meet their obligations. In March 1397, further regulations were introduced when the public began to complain that bankers were reluctant to return money deposited, offered their clients all sorts of excuses, told them to “come back later” and would pay them (in the end, if the clients were lucky) only in small
coins of little value and never in the gold which had originally been deposited.
The bank crisis of the fourteenth century did not lead to increased monitoring and protection of the property rights of depositors. Instead, it resulted in the creation of a municipal government bank, the Taula de Canvi, Barcelona’s Bank of Deposit. This bank was formed with the purpose of taking in deposits and using them to finance city expenditures and the issuance of government bond certificates for the city of Barcelona. Hence, the Taula de Canvi fits the traditional model of a bank created by public authorities to take direct advantage of the dishonest benefits of banking. A.P. Usher studied the life of this bank in detail. Predictably, it ended up suspending payments (in February 1468), because a large portion of its reserves had been channeled into loans to the city of Barcelona and the bank was unable to satisfy depositors’ demands for cash withdrawals.67 From that point on, the bank was reorganized and gradually given more and more privileges, such as a monopoly on all deposits deriving from judicial attachments and seizures. This was an almost guaranteed source of continuous income and acted as collateral for loans to finance the city’s projects. The Taula was also granted a monopoly on resources from all administrative deposits, guardianships and testate proceedings. These funds were deposited and fixed in the bank.

4 комментария:

  1. copy/paste from:

    http://books.google.es/books?id=AJLGKdOZneMC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=The+emergence+of+private+banks+in+Barcelona+coincided+with+the+development+of+private+banking+in+large+Italian+business+centers.&source=bl&ots=5DnyboILFC&sig=k0AGV9wt78pmsYFfcqZ4ro7-wtM&hl=ca&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=The%20emergence%20of%20private%20banks%20in%20Barcelona%20coincided%20with%20the%20development%20of%20private%20banking%20in%20large%20Italian%20business%20centers.&f=false

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  2. Thank you very much for the article. Very interesting and relevant.
    I dont understand the word "tablecloth".

    I tried to translate into spanish, but tablecloth is a problem for me.

    Into spanish:

    EL SISTEMA BANCARIO EN CATALUÑA EN LOS SIGLOS CATORCE Y QUINCE: La Taula de Canvi.

    La aparición de la banca privada en Barcelona coincidió con el desarrollo de la banca privada en los grandes centros de negocio en Italia. Durante el reinado de Jaime I El Conquistador (1213-1276), las leyes Godas y Romanas

    que regían los negocios fueron rechazadas y sustituidas por los "USOS DE BARCELONA. Además, un completo y detallado conjunto de regulaciones al control bancario fue establecido por las cortes de 1300-1301. Asentó los poderes, derechos y responsabilidades de los banqueros y estipuló los requisitos con respecto a los avalistas (fiadores). Algunas de las leyes adoptadas entonces son muy relevantes para el tema que tratamos hoy.

    Por ejemplo, el 13 de Febrero de 1300 se estableció que cualquier banquero que se declarara en BANCARROTA sería humillado por toda Barcelona por un voceador público y forzado a vivir en una estricta dieta de pan y agua hasta que devolviese a sus acreedores la cantidad completa de sus depósitos. Además, el 16 de mayo de 1301, un año después, se decidió que los banqueros estarían obligados a obtener fianzas y garantías de terceras partes para poder operar, y a aquellos que no lo hicieran no se les permitiría extender un mantel sobre sus cuentas de trabajo. El propósito de ello era clarificar a todos que estos banqueros no eran tan solventes como aquellos que usaban manteles, es decir, que estaban respaldados por fianzas.

    Cualquier banquero que rompiera esta regla (por ejemplo, que operase con un mantel, pero sin fianza) sería declarado culpable de fraude.

    En vista de esta legislación, el sistema bancario de Barcelona debió haber sido inicialmente muy solvente y los bancos debieron haber respetado mucho los principios legales esenciales que gobernaban el sistema de depósito bancario.

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  3. Sin embargo, hay indicaciones que muestran que, a pesar de todo, los banqueros privados empezaron pronto a engañar a sus clientes y el 14 de Agosto de 1321 las regulaciones concernientes a los errores bancarios fueron modificadas. Se estableció que, a aquellos banqueros que no completasen inmediatamente sus compromisos, se les declararía en bancarrota, y si no pagasen sus deudas en el plazo de un año, caerían en desgracia pública, lo que sería pregonado por voceros por toda Cataluña. Inmediatamente después, el banquero sería decapitado directamente en frente de su mostrador, y sus propiedades vendidas localmente para pagar a sus acreedores. De hecho esta es una de las pocas ocasiones en la que las autoridades públicas se molestarían en defender de manera efectiva los principios generales de los derechos de propiedad con respecto al contrato monetario de banca de depósitos bancarios. Mientras es probable que la mayoría de los banqueros de Cataluña que se declararan en bancarrota intentaran escapar o pagar sus deudas en el plazo de un año, tenemos evidencias documentales que muestras que, al menos un banquero, un tal Francesc Castello, fue decapitado directamente en frente de su mostrador en 1360, en estricto cumplimiento de la ley.

    A pesar de estas sanciones, los fondos líquidos bancarios no cuadraban con las cantidades recibidas o demandadas en depósito. Como resultado, estos fondos finalmente cayeron de forma masiva en el siglo XIV, durante la recesión económica y crediticia que arrasó el mundo financiero italiano y que ha sido estudiada por Carlo M. Cipolla.

    Aunque hay signos de que los banqueros catalanes se mantuvieron un poco más de tiempo que los italianos (las terribles penas por fraude sin duda elevaron las ratios de reserva), los documentos muestran que, finalmente, los bancos catalanes también finalmente fracasaron en el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones.

    En marzo de 1397 nuevas regulaciones fueron aprobadas cuando el público empezó a quejarse de que los banqueros eran reticentes a devolver el monedo prestado, dando todo tipo de excusas, diciéntoles que "vinieran más tarde" y les pagarían (al final, si los clientes tenían suerte) sólo en monedas de poco valor y nunca en el oro que originalmente habían depositado.

    La crisis bancaria del siglo catorce no llevó a aumentar el control y la protección de los derechos de propiedad de los depositantes. Al contrario, resultó en la creación de una banca de gobierno municipal, la "Taula de Canvi" (Mesa de Cambio), o Banco de Depósitos de Barcelona. Este banco se creó con el propósito de coger depósitos y usarlos para financiar los gastos de la ciudad y expender certificados de bonos del gobierno para la ciudad de Barcelona.

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  4. I hope the previous translation is useful for someone.

    Greetings.

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