Friday, August 7, 2015

Exhibition : Our mutual debt - Finnish government borrowing 1859-2015

Spending some time in Finland this summer? 
Why not visit the Bank of Finland Museum's new exhibition? 
Can't you make it there? Then you should take the virtual tour !

coat of arms and flags of Finland
Coat of arms of Finland surrounded by two Finnish flags.
The flag features a blue Nordic cross on a white
background, which represents Christianity.
Detail from the bond below.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Exhibition on Finnish government bonds
Finland's declaration of independence on 6 December 1917 fails to unify the nation. In 1918 the Finnish Civil War breaks out. The government is in desperate need of funding and its debt rises from below 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP)  before this period, to almost 30%.

1923 bond Republic of Finland
Government of the Republic of Finland
6% loan of 1923 for 1,000,000 pound sterling
bond for £100, Helsingfors 1923
Helsingfors is the Swedish name for Helsinki.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland
double-click image to enlarge

The seasonal exhibition, Our mutual debt - Finnish borrowing 1859-2015, runs from 21 April 2015 until 20 September 2015, and is a joint project of the Bank of Finland and State Treasury. On exhibit are Finnish government bonds beginning with the first railway bond issued in 1859. The exhibition also presents a cross-section of developments in central government debt and its history. Some of the topics addressed : first railway bonds, external market loans (France, Germany, the Rothschild's, US), war loans, internal loans, Finland's modern monetary policy, Euro loans.

loan of 1859 (Helsinki-Hämeenlinna railway)
4% 50 years loan of 1859 (Helsinki-Hämeenlinna railway)
From 1809 to 1917, Finland is an autonomous
Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Bank of Finland Museum
The Museum opened its doors in 2003. Its permanent, partly interactive, exhibition is divided into three sections: 
  • I Monetary policy
  • II History of the Bank of Finland and of the Finnish money market
  • III Banknotes and banknote art.

1903 3.5% 56 Years amortisation bond (railways)
5,000 Finnish marks=5,000 francs=3,600 kronor=4040 reichsmark
Only 200 bonds were issued in this denomination.
This certificate bears the number 1.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Practical info
  • Location : Snellmaninkatu 2, Kruununhaka district of central Helsinki
  • Duration : 21 April 2015 - 20 September 2015
  • Opening hours : Tue-Fri 11:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-16;00, Mon closed
  • Entrance : free
  • Guided tours : available in Finnish, Swedish and English, to be booked in advance via email 


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