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By Nicolas Jequier, Hu Yao-su, Yao-Su Hu, A.S. Bhalla

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Agricultural credit institutions such as France's Credit Agricole, or the Netherland's Rabobank (which today provides 90 per cent of all loans to Dutch agriculture), have come to acquire a technical expertise in the agricultural field which is quite comparable to that of some of the big universal banks in the industrial sector. Like these big banks, they can also be considered as technological institutions, and their experience in the agricultural field prefigures in many ways the technological expertise of today's big international development banks in the field of rural development.

40 Without such a mechanism for socialising the risk of innovation, the expansion of industries like steel, shipbuilding, aluminium or computers in the 1950s and 1960s would most probably have been much less rapid and much less ambitious. " 1 Special credit institutions in the industrialised nations, like development banks in the developing world, account for a relatively small share of total investment in a country. Judging their effectiveness is essentially a matter of conjecture since one cannot determine what might have happened in their absence.

If we adopt the terminology of Friedrich List,10 we would say that the English became more interested in wealth than in the power to produce wealth. The possession, maximisation, distribution, and spending of wealth became more important than the creation of wealth. A thorough examination of the individual institutions that made up the industrial bankin~ movement is not possible because of the state of the archival material. 1 Nor do we have the space here to go into complete detailsP In 1822 the Societe Generate pour Favoriser l'Industrie Lessons from History and from Contemporary Experiences 27 Nationale was created in Brussels, and became, after the Revolution of 1830, the major promoter and supporter of Belgian industry, especially heavy industry_B Its creation was followed by that of the Banque de Belgique in 1835, and in France by the establishment of the Caisse Generale du Commerce et de l'Industrie in 1837.

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