Rosanna Scatamacchia

The «Republic of the banks». Evolution and crisis of a surveillance system, 1894-1974

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Contemporary Italy - Banks - Surveillance system.

The article analyzes the different attempts at introducing banking supervision in Italy, the legislative solutions adopted, and the problems and conflicts accompanying its setting. Banking supervision is examined from the point of view of the history of institutions and State formation. Using this approach, the article deals with the tension between legitimacy and discipline, and between political decision and normative choices. In looking at the role played by different actors in this process, the category of disciplining proved useful to explain the conflicts and relationships between those in power and those who were subjected to it. The article focuses on the mechanisms by which governments and/or the Italian Central Bank challenged the reluctance of the banks of being ruled. It shows how rigid forms of control regulated the conduct of players in the credit and finance systems - up to the point of constraining the entrepreneurial nature of bank business -, while protecting savings.

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