Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Licence to Print Money

In light of recent debates over the political power and influence of the financial industry, I just thought I'd pass along a quote on the history of Siena, Italy - from the Lonely Planet travel guidebook,

"At the end of the 14th century, Siena came under the control of Milan's Visconti family, followed in the next century by the autocratic patrician Pandolfo Petrucci. Under Petrucci the city's fortunes improved somewhat until the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquered it in in 1555 after a two-year siege that left thousands of people dead. He handed the city over to Cosimo I de'Medici, who barred the inhabitants from operating banks and thus severely curtailed Siena's power."

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