In our institutional context the elaboration of financial accounts took place in the Bank of Italy. The current structure of the financial accounts was published in the Bank’s report on 1961; the conceptual systemisation study by Mario Ercolani and Franco Cotula followed in 1969. The history of financial accounting scribes the starting point to the National Monetary Balance Sheet (“Bilancio monetario nazionale”, BMN), drawn up by Paolo Baffi and presented from the Bank’s report of 1949. The BMN should constitute the embryonic financial accounts and from that institutional occasion, by way of a long series of refinements, the definitive work by Ercolani and Cotula is reached. This paper intends to analyse the researchers’ activities, the demands of monetary policy and theoretical reflections which at the end of the war led to the construction of the BMN in 1949. The study’s point of departure is the structure of the scheme and the priority of determining the variation over the course of the year of monetary base held by the public and the “effects on it” of Treasury and private borrowing. Starting from the traditional balance sheet of the Bank of Italy, I shall deal with the drawing up of the report on 1946 (when Einaudi was Governor) aimed at the specification of the variation in monetary base and the forms of its creation and absorption. I shall then determine the accounting manipulations in the report on 1947 (when Menichella was Governor), which led to the “sectorised” attribution of the variation in monetary base, and ultimately, in the report on 1948, with the introduction of elements relating to the financial market and the sharing of borrowing between the Treasury and the private sector, thus leading to BMN. Substantially I intend to support the idea that the construction of Baffi’s BMN predominantly reflects the demands of monetary policy during the Einaudi and Menichella eras.

DELLA TORRE, G. (2009). La costruzione del bilancio monetario nazionale in Banca d'Italia, 1945-1949. STUDI E NOTE DI ECONOMIA, 16(1), 45-66.

La costruzione del bilancio monetario nazionale in Banca d'Italia, 1945-1949

DELLA TORRE, GIUSEPPE
2009

Abstract

In our institutional context the elaboration of financial accounts took place in the Bank of Italy. The current structure of the financial accounts was published in the Bank’s report on 1961; the conceptual systemisation study by Mario Ercolani and Franco Cotula followed in 1969. The history of financial accounting scribes the starting point to the National Monetary Balance Sheet (“Bilancio monetario nazionale”, BMN), drawn up by Paolo Baffi and presented from the Bank’s report of 1949. The BMN should constitute the embryonic financial accounts and from that institutional occasion, by way of a long series of refinements, the definitive work by Ercolani and Cotula is reached. This paper intends to analyse the researchers’ activities, the demands of monetary policy and theoretical reflections which at the end of the war led to the construction of the BMN in 1949. The study’s point of departure is the structure of the scheme and the priority of determining the variation over the course of the year of monetary base held by the public and the “effects on it” of Treasury and private borrowing. Starting from the traditional balance sheet of the Bank of Italy, I shall deal with the drawing up of the report on 1946 (when Einaudi was Governor) aimed at the specification of the variation in monetary base and the forms of its creation and absorption. I shall then determine the accounting manipulations in the report on 1947 (when Menichella was Governor), which led to the “sectorised” attribution of the variation in monetary base, and ultimately, in the report on 1948, with the introduction of elements relating to the financial market and the sharing of borrowing between the Treasury and the private sector, thus leading to BMN. Substantially I intend to support the idea that the construction of Baffi’s BMN predominantly reflects the demands of monetary policy during the Einaudi and Menichella eras.
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