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Banking: "Using the Bank" 1947 ERPI Encyclopædia Britannica Films

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Published on Feb 13, 2012

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"Banking services and procedures in the pre-computer era."

NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYLZl...

Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_...

The history of banking is closely related to the history of money but banking transactions probably predate the invention of money. Deposits initially consisted of grain and later other goods including cattle, agricultural implements, and eventually precious metals such as gold, in the form of easy-to-carry compressed plates. Temples and palaces were the safest places to store gold as they were constantly attended and well built. As sacred places, temples presented an extra deterrent to would-be thieves.

Mesopotamia

In Mesopotamia, during Assyrian and Babylon kingdoms, there are records of loans dating back to the 2nd millennium BC that were made by temple priests/monks to merchants. By the time of Hammurabi's Code, dating to ca. 1700 BCE, banking was well enough developed to justify laws governing banking operations.

Egypt

In Egypt, from early times, grain had been used as a form of money in addition to precious metals, and state granaries functioned as banks. When Egypt fell under the rule of a Greek dynasty, the Ptolemies (332-30 BC), the numerous scattered government granaries were transformed into a network of grain banks, centralized in Alexandria where the main accounts from all the state granary banks were recorded. This banking network functioned as a trade credit system in which payments were effected by transfer from one account to another without passing money. In the late 3rd century BC, the barren Aegean island of Delos, known for its magnificent harbor and famous temple of Apollo, became a prominent banking center. As in Egypt, cash transactions were replaced by real credit receipts and payments were made based on simple instructions with accounts kept for each client.
[edit] India

In ancient India during the Maurya dynasty (321 to 185 BC), an instrument called adesha was in use, which was an order on a banker desiring him to pay the money of the note to a third person, which corresponds to the definition of a bill of exchange as we understand it today. During the Buddhist period, there was considerable use of these instruments. Merchants in large towns gave letters of credit to one another.

China

In ancient China starting in the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BC) the Chinese currency developed with the introduction of standardized coins which allowed the much easier trade across China and led to the development of letters of credit. These letters were issued by merchants that acted in ways that today we would understand as banks.

Greece

Ancient Greece holds further evidence of banking. Greek temples, as well as private and civic entities, conducted financial transactions such as loans, deposits, currency exchange, and validation of coinage.[5] There is evidence too of credit, whereby in return for a payment from a client, a moneylender in one Greek port would write a credit note for the client who could "cash" the note in another city, saving the client the danger of carting coinage with him on his journey. Pythius, who operated as a merchant banker throughout Asia Minor at the beginning of the 5th century BC, is the first individual banker of whom we have records. Many of the early bankers in Greek city-states were metics or foreign residents. Around 371 BC, Pasion, a slave, became the wealthiest and most famous Greek banker, gaining his freedom and Athenian citizenship in the process.

Rome

In Ancient Rome moneylenders would set up their stalls in the middle of enclosed courtyards called macella on a long bench called a bancu, from which the words banco and bank are derived. As a moneychanger, the merchant at the bancu did not so much invest money as merely convert the foreign currency into the only legal tender in Rome that of the Imperial Mint.

The Roman empire formalized the administrative aspect of banking and instituted greater regulation of financial institutions and financial practices. Charging interest on loans and paying interest on deposits became more highly developed and competitive. The development of Roman banks was limited, however, by the Roman preference for cash transactions... After the fall of Rome banking temporarily ended in Europe and was not revived until the time of the crusades...

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