Title: Banking as an information infrastructure of relations

Date: 2014-01-06

The following excerpt is a concise summary of 'Friedlander, Amy, "In God We Trust" All Others Pay Cash: Banking as an American Infrastructure 1800-1935, Corporation for National Research Initiatives, Reston, VA, 1996. pp. 97-98'. Perhaps it has some utility in current conversations about business, relationships, and trust.

"[B]anking meets the first criterion of an infrastructure: it is ubiquitous. ... Banks do not have physical analogs to rails or transmission lines. Rather, banking is the sum of a series of informational transactions, based on shared concepts, procedures, and relationships that enables commodities and funds to flow within and among regions. Banking is, therefore, an infrastructure of and about information --- information in the form of discounts, interest, and prices, and information (or misinformation) that allowed consumers (including other bankers and investors) to maker decisions about spending and saving. The value of money was determined by market transactions; the integrity of the system, however, was built on relationships among bankers and between bankers and the public, governed and mediated by information."


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