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Basing on statistical and other materials, the author considers historical transformation of San Francisco from a small Spanish colonial settlement into one of the leading fi nancial centres of the USA and the whole world. The study shows that at various historical stages the ascent of San Francisco was connected with a wide range of factors. Rapid development of the city started in the 1840s – 1850s, after its transition into the U.S. jurisdiction. Simultaneously, the “gold rush” at nearby territories also contributed to fast growth of San Francisco. In the following decades, transport communications played a very important role too: on the one hand, there was a progress of busy Pacifi c port, on the other – the opening of railway connection with the Atlantic coast of the USA. At the turn of the 19th – 20th centuries, San Francisco received 102 НИКИТИН additional benefi ts because California was among the fi rst states to abolish restrictions on the establishment of banking branches. During the 20th century, the further fi nancial rise of San Francisco was facilitated by the extremely rapid industrial and technological progress of North California, mainly by the emergence of the famous Silicon Valley. Particular attention is paid in the article to the largest banking corporations of the city (“Bank of America” and “Wells Fargo”), the development of which was closely related to the factors mentioned. The calculations carried out in a long time series show that San Francisco experienced evident ups and downs at different periods, but in any case remained a very important hub of fi nancial activity. Finally, the author concludes that achievements of San Francisco and other fi nancial nodes inside the USA, limiting the dominance of New York City, bring signifi cant benefi ts to the national economy.


USA, California, San Francisco, history of banks, competition

Leonid V. Nikitin - South Ural State Humanitarian Pedagogical University, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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