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

Prat Sabartés, Marc
[cat] La historiografia ha assenyalat que en el segle XIX el crèdit que els fabricants cotoners catalans oferien als seus clients era de caràcter informal i, per tant, impossible de ser transferit al sistema bancari. Això hauria tingut un efecte negatiu en la rendibilitat de les empreses cotoneres. A partir de l’anàlisi de diversos arxius empresarials, així com de fonts judicials i notarials, aquest treball confirma aquesta descripció dels fets però proposa una interpretació més optimista. Els fabricants feien de banquers dels seus clients perquè eren els millor situats per a exercir aquesta funció. Havien construït una bona estructura d’informació, gestionaven eficientment el risc creditici i obtenien beneficis d’aquesta activitat., [eng] 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.
Repository: Recercat: Dipósit de la Recerca de Catalunya