1. The Birth of Economic Productiveness

  1. Brett Christophers

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295496.ch1

Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism

Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism

How to Cite

Christophers, B. (2013) The Birth of Economic Productiveness, in Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118295496.ch1

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444338294

Online ISBN: 9781118295496



  • banking system;
  • deposit banking;
  • economic productiveness;
  • profit-oriented money-lending


This chapter on the birth of economic productiveness begins with a brief overview of evolution in perspectives on banking in the centuries prior to the formal development of, what is today referred to as, banking system. The relatively narrow focus in the first section is on the practice of lending money at interest: what was written about it, and what kinds of dichotomies were erected to demarcate positive assessments from negative ones. The second and third sections of the chapter move onto the modern era. The second section discusses perspectives on banking formulated in literature, in philosophy and in politics. The third section on production boundary explores the conceptual placement of financial intermediation in European, and largely British, political economy: the tradition of the Physiocrats, of Adam Smith, and of Malthus, Ricardo and Marx. The final section of the chapter discusses the emergence of neoclassical economics.