Sunday, March 3, 2013

When in Rome (2): The Two Economies

Today we look at Historical Echoes: How Do You Say “Wall Street” in Latin? by Marco Del Negro and Mary Tao. It is an earlier post, related to the one I looked at yesterday. Three bits of it:

The Forum. This is where finance happened in ancient Rome. According to the historian Jean Andreau (“Banking and Business in the Roman World”), both run-of-the-mill banking and high finance took place in the Forum.

Run-of-the-mill banking was regulated in ancient Rome, and argentarii needed to maintain accounts of their transactions.

Aristocratic finance—the faeneratores—was quite a different business, a sort of proto-“shadow banking system.” Elite financiers weren’t subject to any special regulations.

Some things never change.

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