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“Una fiera senza luogo”: Was Bisenzone an International Capital Market in Sixteenth-Century Italy?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2008

LUCIANO PEZZOLO
Affiliation:
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University Ca' Foscari of Venice, S. Giobbe 873, 30121 Venice, Italy, and fellows of the School for Advanced Studies in Venice Foundation. E-mail: pezzolo@unive.it.
GIUSEPPE TATTARA
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Economics, University Ca' Foscari of Venice, S. Giobbe 873, 30121 Venice, Italy, and fellows of the School for Advanced Studies in Venice Foundation. E-mail: tattara@unive.it.

Abstract

From the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth century, Genoese bankers collected money from a variety of sources and lent it to the king of Spain. It was all made possible by the Bisenzone exchange fairs, which created an efficient financial network under Genoese control and permitted arbitrage among northern Italian financial markets. At Bisenzone, Genoese bankers raised money for these loans from a variety of sources, which reduced the risks of lending and funded the king's long-term obligations via short term loans. Bisenzone was in many ways an offshore capital market which operated on an international scale, or, in the language of the sixteenth century, a fair without a place—una fiera senza luogo.

Type
ARTICLES
Copyright
Copyright © The Economic History Association 2008

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