French investment banks and the earthquake of post-war shocks (1944-1946)
After WWII and when the Libération governments reformed the country, a strong anticapitalist move set up against the powers of money. Arguments focused on the limits to fix for the pending nationalisations of firms by the State, either to punish bankers for their financial relations with German Europe, or to safeguard the State from the power of influence and submission attributed to the 200 Families or the Wall of Money, as they had been perceived since the interwar period where they were suspected of having suborned the political power. But part of the business circles still able to be heard and of parliamentary or administrative experts being aware of the genuine circuits of money, succeeded in convincing a majority at the Parliament to respect the private basis of a large fraction of the flows financing big business. The networks of “trust” which allowed to reach patrimonial assets of well-eased classes and the availabilities of big firms should be preserved, but also the knots of relations with the merchant and investment banks and with the financial places in foreign countries, mainly the Anglo-Saxon ones. This explains that Paribas and Banque de l’union parisienne escaped nationalisation.
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