Medici Bank

Medici Bank

Defunct Company
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Medici Bank

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The Medici Bank (1397–1494) was a financial institution created by the Medici family in Italy during the 15th century. It was the largest and most respected bank in Europe during its prime.The qualifier "during the 15th century" is important, as the Bardi and Peruzzini banks of the 14th century are considered to have been considerably larger in their prime; the smaller size of the Medici bank is attributed to the poor business conditions of the fifteenth century, which are sometimes one of the proffered causes for the Medici bank's ultimate decline and failure. The Medici's relative lack of ambition can be seen in how they never truly challenged the Hanseatic League, established no branches in the Middle East, and did not pursue business in and around the Baltic Sea. See de Roover (1966), pp. 5–6, 8. There are some estimates that the Medici family was, for a period of time, the wealthiest family in Europe. Estimating their wealth in today's money is difficult and imprecise, considering that they owned art, land, and gold. With this monetary wealth, the family acquired political power initially in Florence, and later in the wider spheres of Italy and Europe.

A notable contribution to the profession of accounting was the improvement of the general ledger system through the development of the double entry system of tracking credits and debits."A surviving fragment of the ledger of the Bruges branch shows that the books were...
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