The invest­ment bank of the Cre­dit Mobi­lier type cir­cum­ven­ted seve­ral bot­t­len­ecks simul­ta­neous­ly. Abo­ve all, it suc­cee­ded in mobi­li­zing lar­ge amounts of capi­tal for indus­tri­al deve­lo­p­ment in a form accep­ta­ble to French savers. Second, it over­ca­me the shorta­ge of crea­ti­ve entre­pre­neurs, by under­ta­king the entre­pre­neu­ri­al func­tions its­elf and redu­cing many of the actu­al mana­gers of indus­tri­al firms to exe­cu­tors of poli­ci­es. Third, it intro­du­ced a method of mobi­li­zing invest­ment which fit­ted smooth­ly into the pre­vai­ling pat­terns of eco­no­mic orga­niza­ti­on in France: it per­mit­ted the per­sons who were sup­p­ly­ing capi­tal for, the finan­cing of indus­tri­al deve­lo­p­ment to per­form ren­tier roles to which they were accus­to­med. Fourth, it main­tai­ned the sym­bol of finan­cial supre­ma­cy over the gro­wing power of indus­tri­al entre­pre­neur­ship by pla­cing a cre­dit insti­tu­ti­on in the posi­ti­on of indus­tri­al plan­ner and deve­lo­per and redu­cing the indus­tria­lists to a rank of secon­da­ry importance. Final­ly, it fil­led a pain­ful­ly felt vacu­um which had deve­lo­ped sin­ce the fall of Napo­le­on by per­forming a func­tion which befo­re had been per­for­med by govern­ment. In doing all this it came into harsh con­flict with the repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of “old wealth,” the Roth­schilds and the Lafit­tes, who had fol­lo­wed on the who­le the tra­di­tio­nal finan­cial poli­ci­es of being ban­kers to the govern­ment and pro­fiting from the finan­cing of com­mer­cial and exch­an­ge tran­sac­tions. Alt­hough, as Ger­schen­kron points out, this con­flict pro­ba­b­ly cau­sed the ulti­ma­te down­fall of the Cre­dit Mobi­lier, the vic­to­ry for the repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of “old wealth” was worse than Pyrrhic. They gai­ned becau­se they beca­me con­ver­ted and adopted the methods of indus­tri­al invest­ment finan­cing which the Cre­dit Mobi­lier had introduced.

Quel­le /​ Link: Entre­pre­neur­ship and Capi­tal For­ma­ti­on in France and Bri­tain sin­ce 1700

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