“Banche al collasso, quando Wall Street era Firenze”

In un momento storico in cui le banche sembrano arrivate al capolinea, ripercorriamo la storia della nascita del primo sistema bancario così come lo conosciamo oggi. Chi furono i primi banchieri? come sono nati i mercati borsistici. I primi titoli di credito sono nati proprio a Firenze.  Pensate che molti termini borsistici utilizzati a Piazza affari e nelle borse mondiali furono inventati in quel tempo. Esempio era d’uso portare i prodotti da vendere nella piazza degli affari per trattarne la vendita o l’acquisto. Era infatti regola distinguere chi veniva per vendere la propria merce portarsi una “lettera” con la lista dei prezzi dei prodotti da trattare nella piazza affari. Così come si distingueva chi veniva per “comprare” si distingueva con la sacca di danaro. Da qui i termini di oggi della borsa moderna dove si denota la seduta con il termine: “danaro” per dire che ci sono molto compratori e lettera per descrivere i venditori.

Lo splendore della Signoria Fiorentina

Il Banco dei Medici:

“Arte e denari nel Rinascimento”

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La grande crisi bancaria del Trecento a Firenze culminò con un collasso simultaneo di numerosi istituti, i cui effetti dalla finanza si propagarono all’economia reale. Ma, purtroppo, non fu una esperienza che portò degli utili insegnamenti. A Firenze, in conseguenza del crack bancario, tanto la caduta fu forte e pesantissima quanto fu veloce e impetuosa la risalita con i nuovi attori finanziari. E i protagonisti del Quattrocento fiorentino furono i Medici, la famiglia che, più di tutte, segnerà la storia di Firenze e con essa verrà identificata in maniera indissolubile. Intorno ai Medici si costruirà un’aureola straordinaria di mito. Ma c’era un problema strutturale, allora come oggi, che nel Quattrocento veniva, invece, enfatizzato come fonte di elevati guadagni: la leva.

Gozzoli_magiBenozzo Gozzoli, Cappella dei Magi, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Firenze.

 

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Muro “bugnato” Federal Reserve NY.

Agli inizi del Novecento, nella New York dei grandi banchieri, era Firenze l’icona del massimo splendore da emulare: quando si costruì il Palazzo della Federal Reserve l’architetto si ispirò a Palazzo Vecchio, a Palazzo Pitti e soprattutto a Palazzo Strozzi, a cui l’ingresso della prestigiosa costruzione newyorkese sembra simile. La “banca delle banche” di New York, con i suoi enormi caveau doveva simboleggiare la nuova Firenze.  C’era dunque nelle elite finanziarie anglosassoni una profonda ammirazione per il mondo fiorentino. Ma fu grazie agli studi dello storico Raymond De Roover che le vicende del Banco dei Medici non rimasero nella ristretta cerchia degli accademici o dei banchieri, conquistarono la ribalta nel panorama internazionale e un vasto pubblico. Il De Roover analizzò per anni il fondo “Medici Tornaquinci”, conservato nella Baker Library dell’Università di Harvard, poi si tuffò negli archivi fiorentini, in particolare nel fondo “Mediceo avanti il Principato” dell’Archivio di Stato di Firenze e VoorkantRDRnel 1948 pubblicò a New York The Medici Bank: its Organization, Management Operations and Decline. Fu un successo che aprì le porte a nuovi studi, a convegni, ricerche, dibattiti. Nel 1963 il testo fu ripubblicato presso l’Harvard University Press con delle importanti aggiunte ed integrazioni: The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank, 1397-1494. Poi tradotto in numerosissime edizioni in tutto il mondo.

La fortuna delle ricerche sui Medici si intrecciò con gli studi sulla genesi del capitalismo, in cui germogliavano nuove indagini che portarono al superamento delle tesi weberiane sull’etica protestante. Nel mondo anglosassone si acquisiva consapevolezza, come viene affermato all’inizio dell’opera del De Roover, che “il capitalismo moderno, basato sulla proprietà privata, ha le sue radici nell’Italia del Medio Evo e del Rinascimento. Dalle Crociate alle grandi scoperte l’Italia fu la potenza economica dominante nel mondo occidentale, e i suoi mercanti furono i primi uomini d’affari che mediante le relazioni commerciali collegarono il Levante alle spiagge del mare del Nord”.

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Andre Chastel

Negli stessi anni della seconda pubblicazione del De Roveer sul Banco Mediceo, in Europa fiorivano altri studi sui Medici e sul Rinascimento e il loro mito si nutriva e cresceva con le splendide pubblicazione di Andrè Chastel, in particolare Art et Humanisme à Florence autemps de Laurent le Magnifique del 1962 e di Le Grand Atelier d’Italie, 1460-1500, del 1965. Il Banco era stata “la fonte” per l’ascesa sociale e politica della famiglia Medici e non si poteva non collegarlo con la grandezza e lo splendore del Rinascimento fiorentino.

Come nacque l’enorme ricchezza dei Medici? A Firenze con la caduta nella metà del Trecento dei banchi dei Bardi, dei Peruzzi, degli Acciuoli, furono gli Alberti a primeggiare, la loro compagnia era presente a Londra e sulle principali piazze europee, aveva un rapporto consolidato con le Fiandre e, soprattutto, con il Papato. Ma dopo il “tumulto dei Ciompi” nel 1382 la famiglia Alberti fu bandita da Firenze. E il vuoto che si venne a creare fu sfruttato dai Rucellai, dai Pazzi, dagli Strozzi e dai Medici.

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Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici

Il Banco Medici nasce da una sorta di spin off, una derivazione del banco trecentesco di Vieri di Cambio de’ Medici, dalla cui chiusura nacquero tre distinte case bancarie: fu Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici – il quale era stato socio minore e poi direttore della filiale romana del banco di Vieri di Cambio – a rilevare nel 1393, insieme a Benedetto di Lippaccio de’ Bardi, il ramo bancario romano. Il primo ottobre del 1397 Giovanni di Bicci fondò una sua autonoma azienda bancaria trasferendo la sede da Roma a Firenze, piazza che era diventata molto attrattiva ed interessante grazie al vuoto lasciato dalla caduta dei grandi banchi fiorentini. Il successo del Banco dei Medici fu rapido: aprì filiali a Venezia, Roma, Napoli, Milano, Bruges, Londra, Barcellona, Parigi ecc. Il Banco non ebbe presidi ad Oriente né più filiali delle trecentesche compagnie dei Peruzzi o dei Bardi, tuttavia i Medici seppero creare un brand, un alone di esclusività. Il Banco privilegiò da subito i rapporti con i Sovrani e la grande nobiltà europea: aveva come clienti principi, consiglieri dei principi, ministri, cardinali, vescovi, condottieri e grandi mercanti.

……..

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Banco Medici Portali storici in Milano

banca-svizzera-324Venne aperta una filiale anche a Ginevra e in seguito una a Basilea. Sulle principali piazze svizzere vi erano già numerosi banchi di cambio italiani, in particolare fiorentini, piacentini, genovesi, lombard: a Ginevra sono rimaste nella toponomastica Place des Florentins e Rue de Italie. Fu il Banco dei Medici a portare nel territorio elvetico il modello del private banking e il suo modus operandi, la gestione delle ricchezze (gestion privée) affiancata all’elevato prestigio di un brand. Altro aspetto che distingueva i fiorentini e in particolare i rappresentanti dei Medici nelle piazze europee era quello di investire, come “forma di pubblicità” nell’arte e nel patrimonio architettonico: a Ginevra oltre a portare la moda e lo stile di Firenze essi abbellivano gli edifici religiosi con opere d’arte, con drappi pregiati, ad esempio la Chapelle de Notre Dame du Pont du Rhone (oggi purtroppo distrutta) fu rinnovata grazie al loro sostegno e divenne nota come Chapelle des Florentins.

1316174287bGli studi del De Roover (e di sua moglie Florence Edler, anch’essa studiosa) misero in evidenza la natura multiforme e polifunzionale del Banco di Medici, diverso nella struttura dal modello accentrato dei banchi dei Bardi o dei Peruzzi: era più simile ad una sorta di holding, nella quale accanto al principale ramo bancario vi erano anche attività e partecipazioni industriali nella manifattura e nel commercio della lana, della seta e nel monopolio del commercio di allume (fondamentale per la lavorazione della lana). Ogni filiale del ramo bancario aveva un elevato grado di autonomia dalla sede centrale, ogni direttore della filiale veniva remunerato con azioni della stessa filiale e diventava pertanto partner.

Furono soprattutto Giovanni di Bicci e poi suo figlio Cosimo di Giovanni ad accumulare enormi ricchezze. 06_352-288E a costruire il rapporto privilegiato con le finanze vaticane di cui diventarono tesorieri. Con Cosimo al timone, dal terzo al sesto decennio del Quattrocento, la Banca raggiunse il suo apogeo. Il rapporto con il Papato portò enorme prestigio e divenne il biglietto da visita, in tutta Europa, per la clientela più facoltosa. Anche le sedi del gruppo dovevano essere la dimostrazione della magnificenza medicea: si pensi al palazzo del Banco Mediceo a Milano (la cui realizzazione si ritiene fosse stata affidata a Michelozzo) che fu affrescato da Vincenzo Foppa e Zanetto Bugatto: divenne dal 1459, anno della sua ultimazione, un esempio straordinario del Rinascimento lombardo.

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Lorenzo il Magnifico

Per la successione a Cosimo nella famiglia era stato individuato il figlio Giovanni che ebbe una speciale formazione economica, fu educato da banchiere e da mercatores (sin da giovanissimo fu iscritto all’Arte del Cambio e all’Arte della Lana), ma morì nel 1463. E quindi alla morte di Cosimo succedette suo figlio Piero, di salute cagionevole e che aveva avuto una formazione umanistica. La gestione della Banca fu sempre più delegata al Direttore Generale dell’Istituto. Dopo pochi anni nel 1469 alla guida del Banco arrivò, a soli vent’ anni, Lorenzo il Magnifico.

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La sede di Bruges (Hof Bladelin)

Anche il declino del Banco de Medici fu legato all’Inghilterra: dopo il fallimento della sede di Lione infatti seguì quello di Londra. Ma al di là dell’abitudine degli inglesi a non pagare i debiti – e bisognerebbe prima o poi richiedere alla Gran Bretagna di saldare i debiti (nella prima metà del Novecento una grande matematico italiano provò a fare il conteggio attualizzando gli interessi…) – erano le fondamenta del modello bancario ad essere deboli. C’era un problema strutturale nel modello bancario fiorentino del Quattrocento e questo problema era, invece, enfatizzato come fonte di elevati guadagni: la leva (è strano come la storia si ripeta). Le Banche avevano pochissimo capitale di riserva. Tra attivo e passivo nelle banche vi era un forte sbilanciamento. La liquidità non era considerata una riserva strategica. I presidi dei rischi erano subordinati al raggiungimento di elevati risultati di breve. Le filiali avevano prestiti incrociati tra di loro e gli impieghi, anche se effettuati da filiali differenti e a clienti diversi non avevano una adeguato livello di de-correlazione. Nel sistema bancario fiorentino del Trecento vi era stato un elevato livello di interconnessione dei rischi, nel Quattrocento questo livello fu minore ma non vi erano i contrappesi per evitare una caduta. Guardando la recente crisi del 2008 non si può non pensare a come gli stessi problemi si ripresentino oggi con nomi diversi: si parla della necessità per le banche di avere un elevato Core Tier 1, di porre in atto misure per evitare il rischio sistemico ecc.

Banchieri_FiorentiniL’altro punto debole dell’“alta finanza” fiorentina era la mancanza di una Banca centrale che potesse salvare un istituto in difficoltà o fornirgli la liquidità temporanea: neanche nella Firenze adagiata su enormi ricchezze si erano previsti dei paracadute né dei coordinamenti e la stessa potente corporazione dell’Arte del Cambio non aveva potere in tal senso.  Rimase, inoltre, il problema del prestito ai Sovrani: i banchieri italiani non avevano un reale potere coercitivo (non possedevano eserciti né avevano alle spalle uno Stato che potesse pretendere il rispetto dei patti). Guerra e sconfitte dei sovrani mettevano continuamente a rischio i capitali prestati. Questo si rivelò fatale nel Trecento e continuò nel Quattrocento.

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Piero de’ Medici

Nel Banco dei Medici vi fu poi un altro elemento di debolezza, di natura interna e che potremmo definire di “passaggio generazionale”: forse è eccessivamente duro il giudizio del Machiavelli su un Lorenzo Magnifico troppo dedito alle arti e alla corte e poco agli affari, ma è tuttavia innegabile come egli avesse delegato la gestione della holding e quindi del Banco al suo direttore generale. Eccessiva delega e mancato controllo sui potenti direttore delle filiali del Banco furono tra le principali cause della sua rovina. Alla morte di Lorenzo il Magnifico nel 1492, suo figlio Piero ereditò la guida del Banco, che diresse insieme al prozio Giovanni Tornabuoni: fu una gestione fallimentare e nel 1494 vi fu la liquidazione della Banca.

Nella seconda metà del Cinquecento divenne, comunque, evidente il cambio di strategia all’interno della famiglia Medici: da banchieri diventarono politici. Conquistarono prima il potere a Firenze e consolidarono

Papa_Leone_X

Papa Leone x

e sfruttarono i rapporti con il Papato. Infatti crollò la Banca, vennero chiuse le filiali ma il potere della famiglia rimase in piedi. I Medici diventarono prima i Signori di Firenze e successivamente diventarono Pontefici, si pensi a Giovanni, secondogenito di Lorenzo il Magnifico, che divenne Papa con il nome di Leone X: da grande umanista rimase nella storia come il pontefice dell’arti e del Rinascimento romano (ma sotto il suo papato scoppiò il problema delle indulgenze e il gravissimo e insanabile scontro con Lutero).

Il Banco non fu più riaperto forse perché l’attività di banchieri non era ritenuta degna di un sovrano. Al posto dei grandi commerci internazionali i Medici preferirono il potere della corte romana. Alla mercatura il nepotismo. Giulio di Giuliano dei Medici divenne Pontefice col nome di Clemente VII. La famiglia nel Cinquecento si concentrò sulla gestione del potere politico e si orientò su una strategia di matrimoni di successo:  prima le dinastie italiane poi le grandi case regnati d’Europa. Al ramo dei Medici appartennero due grandi regine di Francia: Caterina de’ Medici moglie di Enrico II di Francia e Maria de’ Medici moglie di Enrico IV di Borbone e madre di Luigi XIII.

I Medici ad un certo punto da mercatores e grandi banchieri, consolidarono il potere e si trasformarono in rentiers: ed anche questo è emblematico della storia italiana. Come sottolineano gli studi di Carlo Maria Cipolla sul lungo Seicento italiano ripresi spesso da Mario Draghi, questo passaggio, questa metamorfosi in rentiers, diffusa in buona parte della classe imprenditoriale italiana, fu “alimento” e una delle causa della decadenza del nostro Paese dopo il Rinascimento.

english version:

At a time in history when the banks seem to come to an end, retrace the story of the birth of the first banking system as we know it today. Who were the first bankers? were born as the stock markets. The first titles to their credit they were born in Florence. Do you think that many use the terms stock market in Piazza business and the stock exchange were invented at that time. Example, it was customary to bring products to sell the business to deal with it in the square in the sale or purchase. It was in fact rule out who was to sell their wares to bring a “letter” with the list of prices of the products to be treated in the square business. So how do you distinguish those who came to “buy” was distinguished with the bag of money. From here the terms of today’s modern bag where it denotes the session with the term “money” to say that there are a lot of buyers and sellers to describe the letter.

The Medici Bank:

Art and money in the Renaissance

The great banking crisis of the fourteenth century in Florence culminated with a simultaneous collapse of many institutions, the effects of which were propagated from finance to the real economy. But, unfortunately, it was an experience that brought the useful lessons. In Florence, as a result of crack bank, so the fall was strong and heavy as it was fast and fiery ascent with the new financial players. And the protagonists of the Florentine Quattrocento were the Medici, the family, most of all, will mark the history of Florence and with it will be identified in an indissoluble way. Doctors will build a halo around the extraordinary myth. But there was a structural problem, then as now, was that in the fifteenth century, however, emphasized as a source of high returns: the lever.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the great bankers in New York, Florence was the icon of the peak to emulate: When you built the Palace of the Federal Reserve, the architect was inspired by Palazzo Vecchio, Pitti Palace and especially at the Palazzo Strozzi in where the entrance of the prestigious New York construction seems similar. The “bank of banks” in New York, with its huge vault was to symbolize the new Florence. There was, therefore, in the Anglo-Saxon financial elites with profound admiration for the Florentine world. But it was thanks to the studies of the historic Raymond De Roover that the events of the Medici Bank did not remain in the narrow circle of academic or bankers, captured the limelight in the international scene and the general public. The De Roover analyzed for years the fund “Doctors Tornaquinci”, stored in the Baker Library at Harvard University, then dived in the Florentine archives, particularly in the provision “Medici forward the Principality” of the State Archives of Florence and in 1948 published in New York The Medici Bank: its Organization, Management Operations and Decline. It was a success that opened the door to new studies, conferences, research, debate. In 1963 the text was republished at the Harvard University Press with the important additions and additions: The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank, 1397-1494. Then translated into numerous editions around the world.

The luck of the research on Doctors intertwined with studies on the genesis of capitalism, in which sprouted new investigations that led to the overcoming of Weber’s Protestant ethic thesis. In the Anglo-Saxon world is acquired awareness, as it is stated at the beginning of the work of De Roover, that “modern capitalism based on private ownership, has its roots in Italy during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. From the Crusades to the great discoveries Italy was the dominant economic power in the Western world, and its merchants were the first businessmen who trade relations hooked up through the Levant to the beaches of the North Sea. “

In the same period of the second publication of the De Medici Roveer on Tour in Europe flourished Doctors and other studies of the Renaissance and their myth was nourished and grew with the splendid publication of André Chastel, in particular à Florence autemps Humanisme Art et de Laurent le Magnifique 1962 and Le Grand Atelier d’Italie, 1460-1500, 1965. The Bank had been “the source” for the rise of social and political life of the Medici family and you could not connect it with the grandeur and splendor of the Florentine Renaissance.

How did the enormous wealth of the Medici? In Florence, with the fall in the mid-fourteenth century the benches of the Bardi, Peruzzi, the Acciuoli, were the Alberti to excel, their company was present in London and in the major European, had an established relationship with Flanders and, above all, with the Papacy. But after the “Revolt of the Ciompi” Alberti in 1382 the family was banished from Florence. And the void that was to create was exploited by the Rucellai, the Pazzi, the Strozzi and the Medici.

Giovanni di Bicci de ‘Medici
The Medici Bank was founded by a sort of spin-off, a derivation of the fourteenth-century bench Vieri di Cambio de ‘Medici, whose closure had three distinct banking houses: it was Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici – who had been junior partner and then director of the Roman branch of the bank Vieri di Cambio – to take over in 1393, together with Benedict of Lippaccio de ‘Bardi, the Roman branch banking. On October 1397 Giovanni di Bicci founded his own independent banking company moving its seat from Rome to Florence, piazza which had become very attractive and interesting due to the void left by the fall of the great Florentine banks. The success of the Medici Bank was quick: opened offices in Venice, Rome, Naples, Milan, Bruges, London, Barcelona, ​​Paris etc.. The Bank had no garrisons in the east of the fourteenth century or more branches of companies of the Bardi or Peruzzi, but the Doctors were able to create a brand, an aura of exclusivity. The Bank gave priority from the start relations with the sovereigns and the great European nobility: as customers had principles, counselors of princes, ministers, cardinals, bishops, generals and great merchants.

Medici Bank Portals historians in Milan
Was opened a branch in Geneva and then a in Basel. On the major Swiss banks, there were already numerous Rate Italians, especially Florentines, Piacenza, Genoa, Lombard: Geneva remained in place names Place des Florentins and Rue de Italie. It was the Medici Bank to bring in Swiss territory the model of private banking and its modus operandi, the wealth management (gestion privée) flanked to the high prestige of a brand. Another aspect that distinguished the Florentines, and in particular representatives of the Medici in European markets was to invest, as a “form of advertising” in art and architectural heritage: in Geneva as well as bring fashion and style of Florence they adorned the religious buildings with works of art, with rich draperies, such as the Chapelle de Notre Dame du Pont du Rhone (now sadly destroyed) was renewed thanks to their support and became known as the Chapelle des Florentins.

The studies of De Roover (and his wife Florence Edler, also a scholar) pointed out the multi-purpose and multi-faceted nature of the Banco di Medici, different in structure from the centralized model of the benches of the Bardi and Peruzzi: it was more like a sort of holding, in which next to the main branch banking there were also activities and industrial investments in the manufacturing and trading of wool, silk and trade monopoly of alum (essential for the processing of wool). Each branch of the banking sector had a high degree of autonomy from the central office, each branch manager was remunerated with shares of the same branch and therefore became partners.

It was especially Giovanni di Bicci and then his son Cosimo di Giovanni to accumulate enormous wealth. And to build the relationship with the Vatican’s finances which became treasurers. With Cosimo at the helm, from the third to the sixth decade of the fifteenth century, the Bank reached its apogee. The relationship with the Papacy brought enormous prestige and became the calling card all over Europe, for the more wealthy. The corporate offices of the group had to be the proof of the magnificence of the Medici: think of the palace of the Medici bank in Milan (the realization of which is believed to have been entrusted to Michelozzo) that was painted by Vincenzo Foppa and Bugatto Zanetti: he became from 1459, the year of its completion, an extraordinary example of the Lombard Renaissance.

For the succession to Cosimo in the family had been identified by his son John who had a special training in business, he was educated banker and mercatores (from an early age he was enrolled in the Guild of Change and the Arte della Lana), but he died in 1463 . And then the death of Cosimo was succeeded by his son Piero, in poor health and had had a liberal arts education. The management of the Bank was increasingly delegated to the Director General of the Institute. After a few years in 1469 to lead the Tour arrived, only twenty years’, Lorenzo the Magnificent.

The headquarters of Bruges (Hof Bladelin)
The decline of the Banco de Medici was linked to England: after the failure of the seat of Lyon in fact followed that of London. But beyond the habit of the English to avoid paying debts – and sooner or later you should ask Britain to settle your debts (in the first half of the twentieth century a great Italian mathematician tried to make the count by discounting the interests …) – they were the foundations of the banking model to be weak. There was a structural problem in the fifteenth century Florentine banking model and this problem was, however, emphasized as a source of high returns: the lever (it is strange how history repeats itself). The banks had very little reserve capital. Between assets and liabilities in the banks there was a strong imbalance. The cash was not considered a strategic reserve. Principals of the risks they were subject to the achievement of high results soon. The subsidiaries had loans cross each other and use, even if made by different branches and different customers did not have an adequate level of de-correlation. In the fourteenth century Florentine banking system there was a high level of interconnection of risks, in the fifteenth century this level was lower but there were no counterweights to prevent a fall. Looking at the recent 2008 crisis, one can not think about how the same problems occurring again today with different names, they speak of the need for banks to have a higher Core Tier 1, to put in place measures to avoid systemic risk and so on.

The other weak point of ‘”high finance” Florentine was the lack of a central bank that could save an ailing institution or provide temporary liquidity: even in Florence, laid out enormous wealth had planned parachute nor the coordination and the same powerful guild of the Exchange had no power to do so. He was also the problem of the loan to the Kings: Italian bankers did not have a real coercive power (not owned nor had armies behind a state that could claim that the terms). War and defeats of the sovereign continually put at risk the capital lent. This proved fatal in the fourteenth century and continued in the fifteenth century.

In the Medici Bank, there was also another element of weakness, of a domestic nature and that could be called “generational shift” is perhaps overly harsh judgment of Machiavelli on a Lorenzo Magnifico too devoted to the arts and to the court and not to business, but it is undeniable, however, as he had delegated the management of the holding company and therefore the Bank its Executive Director. Excessive delegation and lack of control on the powerful director of the branches of the Bank were among the main causes of his downfall. On the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent in 1492, his son Piero inherited the leadership of the Bank, who directed along with the great-uncle Giovanni Tornabuoni was a disastrous management and in 1494 there was the liquidation of the Bank.

In the second half of the sixteenth century became, however, the apparent change of strategy within the Medici family of bankers became politicians. First conquered the power in Florence and consolidated and exploited relations with the Papacy. In fact, the bank collapsed, the branches were closed but the power of the family remained standing. The Medici became the first lords of Florence and later became Popes, think of John, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who became Pope Leo X: from the great humanist remained in history as the pontiff of the Roman Renaissance and Arti (but under his papacy broke the issue of indulgences and the very serious and irremediable conflict with Luther).

The Tour was never reopened perhaps because the activity of bankers was not deemed worthy of a king. In place of the great international trade Physicians preferred the power of the Roman court. To commerce nepotism. Giulio di Giuliano de ‘Medici became Pope under the name of Clement VII. The family in the sixteenth century focused on the management of political power and was oriented on a strategy of successful marriages: the first Italian dynasties reigned then the great houses of Europe. Belonged to the branch of the Medici two great queens of France: Catherine de ‘Medici, wife of Henry II of France and Maria de’ Medici, wife of Henry IV of Bourbon and mother of Louis XIII.

Physicians at some point mercatores and big bankers, consolidated power and turned into rentiers: and this is also emblematic of Italian history. Is emphasized in the studies Carlo Maria Cipolla in the long seventeenth century Italian often taken by Mario Draghi, this step, this metamorphosis into rentiers, widespread in much of the Italian entrepreneurial class, was “food” and one of the causes of the decline of our country after the Renaissance.

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