This study focuses on the role of institutions and organizations in the development of corporate finance from the Italian merchant banks of the Renaissance through the formation of conglomerates and leveraged-buy-out partnerships in contemporary Wall Street. It also puts forth a compelling argument for the closer integration of historical and quantitative research methodologies in financial theory. The epilogue contains an original algorithm that explains the relationship between the short-term, firm-specific factors and longer-term environmental elements that have shaped the historical development of finance.
'A History of Corporate Finance by Baskin and Miranti provides a panoramic account of the evolution of financial organizations and practices from ancient time through the present. It also compares these organizations and practices with the assumptions and conclusions of contemporary financial theories. It is must reading for both history buffs and for students, scholars, and practitioners of financial theory.' Harry Markowitz, 1990 Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics 'Business corporations, once rare, have become the dominant organization of the modern economy. The corporation as we know it owes its existence to a long history of financial innovations - in institutions, markets, and instruments (securities). This is the first in-depth history to tell us how it all happened, from the merchants and bankers of medieval and Renaissance Italy to today's corporate managers and wizards of Wall Street. Students of business, economics, finance, law, and history will learn much from it.' Richard Sylla, New York University 'No serious student of corporate enterprise can afford to ignore [the book's] implications for how finance has shaped institutional development. If there were no more than one important lesson to be learned from this study (and there are many), it is this: financial structure matters.' George David Smith, Business History Review 'An in-depth, panoramic study of corporate finance's history from the late Middle Ages to recent leveraged buyouts in a little over 300 pages seems rather extraordinary. This book is extraordinary.' Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr, The Journal of Economic History '... this is a well-informed work, describing a series of coherent financial systems which constitutes an adequate introduction to the subject, albeit a conceptually restricted one.' Contemporary European History