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Plessis, Alain (2002)
Publisher: Revue d’histoire du XIXe siècle
Languages: French
Types: Article
Subjects: Banques, Crédit, Histoire économique
Identifiers:doi:10.4000/rh19.315
Dans la France du xixe siècle, ceux qui voulaient faire des échanges se heurtaient à un double problème : pouvoir régler leurs paiements sur une place éloignée de leur domicile et trouver des crédits abondants à court terme. Les effets de commerce, qui sont à la fois des instruments de règlement et la « matière première » de l’escompte, pouvaient permettre de résoudre cette double difficulté. Depuis le XVIIIe siècle l’escompte des effets de commerce est une pratique connue en France. Mais jusqu’en 1848 on ne peut y recourir que de manière très limitée, faute d’un système de crédit étoffé et organisé. C’est la politique de la Banque de France sous le Second Empire qui donne à l’escompte un puissant élan. À la fin du siècle, l’intervention massive des grandes banques de dépôt sur le marché de l’escompte offre aux entrepreneurs des crédits d’escomptes surabondants et à faible taux. La France a poussé plus loin que les autres la révolution de l’escompte, et elle en est fière… The discount revolution in 19th-century France. In 19th-century France, those who wanted to make exchanges had to cope with a double problem: being able to settle their payments somewhere remote from their home, and finding abundant short-term credit. The trade bills, which were both settling instruments and the “raw material” of discount, made it possible to solve this double difficulty. Since the 18th-century, discounting trade bills had been practised in France. But until 1848, it remained a limited system, because of the lack of a sophisticated, organised credit system. It was the policy of the Banque de France under Napoleon III that gave a large stimulus to the discount. By the end of the century, the large intervention of deposit banks on the discount market gave entrepreneurs overabundant and low-rate discount credit. France went further than the other countries in this discount revolution, and she is proud of it.
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