Frankfurt = Bankfurt?!
Since the Middle Ages, Frankfurt has been an important centre for exhibition and trade. The city benefited from its central location and its importance as an election and coronation city of the German kings. In 1240 and 1330, Frankfurt received imperial trade fair privileges, which promoted trade and thus the money and credit economy. Merchants from the great trading centres in Europe met at the autumn and spring fairs; all paying in their own currencies. Initiated by foreign merchants, for the first time fixed exchange rates were agreed upon in 1585 – the stock exchange was founded!
The development of the financial sector also shaped the face of the city. Initially, trading and bartering took place in the city's squares, streets and halls. Over the centuries, activities shifted indoors and today they now take place behind reflecting glass facades. The financial sector has developed into a rather closed world of insiders. After the exposure of financial speculations, currency fraud and other scandals, the image of the respected, discreet banker with integrity has also changed. The modern banker is described as an arrogant, calculating and cold-blooded careerist, who has literally lost his grounding in his skyscraper.