Banking and the Promotion of Technological Development by Nicolas Jequier, Hu Yao-su, Yao-Su Hu, A.S. Bhalla

By Nicolas Jequier, Hu Yao-su, Yao-Su Hu, A.S. Bhalla

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Capitalised at 60 million French francs, the Credit Mobilier was the largest banking institution in France after the Banque de France. It represented the savings of France as a whole against the private fortune of the Rothschilds. This kind of financial muscle enabled the new industrial banks to accept risks in industrial promotion, and to play a significant role in the channelling and transformation of savings into investment. By contrast with the haute banque which relied on the funds of a small number of wealthy people, and with the English joint-stock banks which confined their role primarily to receiving payments from, and making payments to, all parts of the country (and the Empire) an9 to advancing self-liquidating loans on the basis of chequeing deposits, the new banks assumed an active role in mobilising, channelling and transforming savings into investment.

Took the part of pupils, whose purpose it was to outrun their teachers. They began by the direct copying of English machinery and methods: and they next set themselves to get employment in English firms ... in return for ... »28 Moreover, many manufacturing and mining enterprises were founded in German~ by Frenchmen, using French capital and French engineers and managers. To use a modern terminology there was no restriction against direct foreign investment. Such was the technological environment in which industrial banking took shape.

Moreover, special credit institutions are, by their very nature, better equipped than government departments or ministries to appraise projects and borrowers. As banks, they enjoy confidential relations with their clients, who are therefore more willing to share information with them. Finally a government department must rely on its share of budgetary resources, while a credit institution can, as a separate entity, borrow domestically or internationally. The second observation touches upon the difficulty of apportioning the blame for failure or, conversely, the credit for success.

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