An ‘Atypical’ Case? The First Emergence of Brussels as an International Financial Centre, 1830-1860

Abstract : Economic historians often take for granted the idea that financial centres have followed one standard bottom-up development process, gradually evolving from commercial hubs to banking places. This chapter suggests that such an interpretation is rather simplistic. The analysis is focused on a remarkable counterexample: the sudden emergence of Brussels as an international financial centre in the mid-19th century. The case study is articulated into five parts, each one looking at a different aspect of the growth of the new centre (capital resources, business elites, regulation, the domestic money market, and the foreign exchange market). The conclusion is that the top-down process observed in the Brussels experience sheds light on the fact that semi-institutional actors (such as central banks, or commercial banks connected to the political power) can successfully enact specific policies aimed at enhancing local financial development.
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Laure Quennouëlle-Corre, Youssef Cassis Financial Centres and International Capital Flows in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Oxford University Press, pp.47-70, 2011, 9780199603503. 〈10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603503.003.0003〉
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Stefano Ugolini. An ‘Atypical’ Case? The First Emergence of Brussels as an International Financial Centre, 1830-1860. Laure Quennouëlle-Corre, Youssef Cassis Financial Centres and International Capital Flows in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Oxford University Press, pp.47-70, 2011, 9780199603503. 〈10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603503.003.0003〉. 〈hal-01294365〉

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