By: Badi Badiozamani
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First Banks– During the Achaemenian period private banks were established. The most famous was Bank of Egibiwhich carried on the business of pawn-brokers floating loans and accepting deposits. Its capital was invested in house property, fields, cattle, and in the boats that carried the merchandise. Current accounts were operated and checks were in use. Bank of Murashshu and Sons was founded later in Nippur. It held leases, dug canals and sold water to the farmers, secured monopolies, such as brewing or fisheries which were farmed out at a profit.
Per Professor Girshman, Greeks followed the example of these banks and similar institutions appeared there, particularly in the temples of Delos, Olympia, and Delphia. He adds: “how many financiers and bankers know, for example, that the word ‘check’ or the word ‘avaliser’ come from the Pahlavi language and were invented by the Iranian banking institutions of this remote age? The Christian traders of Syria borrowed the bill from Iran, and introduced it into the West.”
*Excerpts from “Iran & America: Rekindling a Love Lost”
by Badi Badiozamani