Publication:
Asientos as Sinews of War in the Composite Superpower of the 16th Century

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2021-11-04
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Oxford University Press
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The full analysis of the text of a contract, asiento, between Philip II of Spain and a Genoese merchant-banker details how in this pre-modern composite state, merchant-bankers acted as agents of the Crown who gathered many scattered sources of income to the Crown and transformed them into large and regular cash flows, mesadas, for the army. Because of the uncertain availability of these sources, the contract provided flexibility to both parties and legal assistance to the banker who reported to accountants for audit and, if necessary, the charge of an interest at about 1 percent per month.
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Alvarez-Nogal,C; Chamley, C. (2021). Asientos as sinews of war in the composite superpower of the 16th century. European Review of Economic History, 25 (4), pp.703–722.