Money and Promises: Seven Deals that Changed the World

Published by Head of Zeus on 14th March 2024

In the twelfth-century, Pisa was a thriving metropolis, a powerhouse of global trade, and a city that stood at the centre of Mediaeval Europe. But Pisa had a problem. It was running out of coins. In the face of financial crisis, it was here that the foundations of modern banking were born.

In Money and Promises, the distinguished financier, entrepreneur and historian Paolo Zannoni examines the fascinating, complex relationship between states and banks. He draws upon seven case studies: the republic of twelfth-century Pisa, seventeenth-century Venice, the infant years of the Bank of England, Imperial Spain, the Kingdom of Naples, the nascent USA during the American Revolution, and Bolshevik Russia in 1917-1921. Spanning a multitude of countries, political systems, and historical eras, Zannoni shows that at the heart of these institutions is an intricate exchange of debt and promises that allowed the modern world as we know it to take shape.

Featuring fresh insights and innovative research, this authoritative yet extremely accessible book explores the vital relationship upon which all individual, financial, and political systems still depend.