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This book is the first complete survey of the evolution of monetary institutions and practices in Western countries from the Middle Ages to today. It radically rethinks previous attempts at a history of monetary institutions by avoiding institutional approach and shifting the focus away from the Anglo-American experience. Previous histories have been hamstrung by the linear, teleological assessment of the evolution of central banks. Free from such assumptions, Ugolini’s work offers bankers and policymakers valuable and profound insights into their institutions.
Using a functional approach, Ugolini charts an historical trajectory longer and broader than any other attempted on the subject. Moving away from the Anglo-American perspective, the book allows for a richer (and less biased) analysis of long-term trends. The book is ideal for researchers looking to better understand the evolution of the institutions that underlie the global economy.