The history of Borsa: the two world wars (1914-1945)

From the Stock Exchange Syndicate (Sindacato di Borsa) to the Stockbrokers' Executive Committee (Comitato direttivo degli agenti di cambio)


The law approved in 1913 after decades of discussion granted the trading system the form it had maintained with few changes since the open outcry exchange had shut down.
The law provided detailed ratification of the various competencies of supervision, control and management, dividing them between the Ministry, the Chambers of Commerce, the Syndicates of brokers (Sindacati dei mediatori) and the Stock Exchange Committees (Deputazioni di borsa). The role of the stockbrokers was defined, specifying that they were permitted to act solely on behalf of their clients and not on their own behalf. Although they had exclusive rights over all open outcry exchanges, they were not granted a concentration of all the exchanges in the stock exchange, thus paving the way for their long-standing minority compared to the banking trading desks.
In 1925, stockbrokers became state employees and in 1932 their Syndicate changed its name to the Stockbroker's Executive Committee (Comitato direttivo degli agenti di cambio della Borsa valori).


The Creation of Piazza degli Affari


Business stepped up to such a degree during the 1920s that Palazzo Broggi was no longer up to the demands. In 1928, the architect Paolo Mezzanotte was given the task of designing a new seat for the Stock Exchange.
It was inaugurated four years later in a new square that had been completely renovated and given the name of Piazza degli Affari. The building was equipped with the most advanced technologies of its time (telephone booths and a mechanical display board) along with furnishings designed by Mezzanotte and majolica decorated by Gio Ponti.






Expansion and Crisis between the Two World Wars

In the years between the two World Wars, stock markets in Italy and abroad underwent violent swings, soaring euphorically at times and plummeting dramatically at others.
At the end of the First World War, stock exchange prices and volumes underwent a strong recovery that lasted until 1929. In the early 1930s, the government's intervention in saving the banking system led to all banking securities being removed from the list. They were not to reappear until 1956, when Mediobanca was listed. In the last half of the 1930s, the State's financial needs for military spending drained many of the stock market's resources.
Italy's entry into the war and the state of emergency led to all equity shares being made nominative bonds. The Stock Exchange stayed open for business from 1942 to 1945, even during bombing raids, although operations were drastically reduced.

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