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Cotton manufacturers as bankers: the textile trade and credit in spain (1840-1913)

  • Marc Prat Sabartes

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

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    Historians claim that in the nineteenth century Catalan cotton manufacturers were giving informal credit to their clients, and were therefore unable to transfer this credit to the banking system. Such circumstances would have had a detrimental effect on the profitability of the cotton firms. Based on an analysis of the archives of several firms, as well as judicial and notary sources, we can confirm this state of affairs, but present a more optimistic interpretation of the system. Manufacturers were, in fact, acting as their customers bankers because they were in the best position to perform this function. They built up a good information structure, managed the credit risk efficiently and earned money from this activity.

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    Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 189.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2008189
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
    Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es

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    1. Aidan Hollis & Arthur Sweetman, 1997. "Microcredit in Pre-Famine Ireland," Economic History 9704002, EconWPA.
    2. Ville, Simon & Fleming, Grant, 2000. "Financial intermediaries and the design of loan contracts within the Australasian pastoral sector before the Second World War," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 201-218, October.
    3. Baskes, Jeremy, 2005. "Colonial Institutions and Cross-Cultural Trade: Repartimiento Credit and Indigenous Production of Cochineal in Eighteenth-Century Oaxaca, Mexico," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 186-210, March.
    4. Cuadras-Morató, Xavier & Rosés, Joan R., 1998. "Bills of exchange as money: sources of monetary supply during the industrialisation of Catalonia, 1844–74," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 27-47, April.
    5. Xavier Cuadras & Joan R. Roses, 1995. "Bills of exchange as money: Sources of monetary supply during the industrialization in Catalonia (1844-74)," Economics Working Papers 111, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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