Archive for September 20th, 2016

How Beethoven was one of the first investors in stock of Austrian Central Bank…

September 20, 2016

The Oesterreichische Nationalbank or Austrian Central Bank is celebrating its 200 year history.

Its chief Dr Ewald Nowotny gives this interesting speech through the 200 year journey:

Milestone birthdays not only provide an occasion to gather family and friends. They also afford an opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on one’s past as well as one’s plans and hopes for the future. The 200-year history of our institution has been eventful, to put it mildly. In its first 100 years, the Nationalbank was the central bank of a major power; in its second 100 years, that of a small open economy in the middle of Europe. The fate of the Nationalbank has always been closely entwined with the fate of Austria, for better and for worse.

Central banks never operate in isolation. The most important lesson to be drawn from our 200-year history is that the greatest threat to financial and monetary stability has been, and still is, war.

In fact, it was the twenty odd years of the Napoleonic wars which stood at the origin of the Nationalbank in 1816, as Austria strove to stabilize a currency which had undergone strong inflation and depreciation.

So the “privileged Austrian central bank” was founded as an independent institution with private shareholders. One of the first shareholders was Ludwig van Beethoven – and just for the record: this turned out to have been a very good investment for him.

ūüôā¬†How good was it?¬†Given state of central banks, one¬†wouldn’t be surprised if Beethoven would call the investment as profitable but¬†of¬†bad taste…

Rest of the speech is the usual bit on World Wars,  European integration and so on. Useful to read..


Italian Banking woes update..

September 20, 2016

One is really sick of pointing to banking woes and upcoming crisis but they keep coming.

Italy is hardly a new player and its fiscal/banking woes have been talked for a while. The concerns have increased recently following Brexit. Infact, all this is happening in a country which apparently gave birth to idea of banking in Europe. Bankers from Italy migrated elsewhere to shape banking in other parts of Europe. And now they have just forgotten their own history lessons.

Caroline Gray of Focus Economics has an update on Italian banking:


Karnataka government shelves Aiyya canteen initiative

September 20, 2016

Currently Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments are at loggerheads with each other.  However, it is not as bad as one is still taking ideas from each other.

Any success at political level leads to many copy cat versions. Amma canteens started by Tamil Nadu Govt is one such measure. Keeping economics aside, it is seen as a huge political success.

Taking a cue, Karnataka govt also planned to launch its version of Aiyya canteens. The plan is shelved as of now:


Trade globalisation in the last two centuries..

September 20, 2016

Usually accounts suggest first round of globalisation started in 1870. Though, these are just the European and US accounts which ignore historic trading ties in Asia and Middle East much before trading picked up in Europe.

Anyways, Michel Fouquin and Jules Hugot take the 1870 date a little backward. They say globalisation started in 1840:


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