During the 14th century the political life of the commune of Turin coincided with its financial administration, keeping the city government on a constant search for resources to satisfy high and frequent princely demands. Out of this context developed a political elite whose duty was to deal, both directly and indirectly, with a state of continuous financial emergency. The various types of financial instruments, rather than being viewed primarily as economic investments, are better seen as a burden due to community membership and the political role played by individual citizens. In particular, loans and contracts for public incomes and land constituted a possible way for citizens to get into the elite or (more often) to reinforce their position, assuring thereby the political continuity of the family. Public finance was a price to pay in order to reach or preserve high-level political participation in the city government.