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“Which way to turn?” - The destinations of the Spanish silver (1621-1650) London, Lisbon, or Genoa?

Claudio Marsilio

No 2015/54, Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History from ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa

Abstract: During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the public credit market of the Spanish Empire used the Genoese and Portuguese bankers’ to intermediate on their behalf. They leant money to the Spanish Crown (asientos) and offered many other financial services all around Europe. The asientos was a typical form of short term borrowing which paid high rates of interest reimbursed in silver (bullion and coins), which could be sold to many different private economic agents and public mints all over Europe. The objective of this article is to analyse, within the environment of the international silver market, the role played by some of the European mints who were directly interested in this type of financial intermediation. While the production levels of the mints in Genoa and London depended more on the financial market that of Lisbon was derived from a purely commercial market.

Keywords: Bullion Trade; Silver; International Payment System; Modern Monetary History; Exchange Fairs; Spanish Public Debt JEL classification: N00; N23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
Date: 2015
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