In their earlier years the creditbanks, were commonly regarded with disfavour as stock-jobbing concerns of questionable character. This attitude is expressed in the writings of several of the leading German economists of the last century. In the present century, however, the creditbanks have been regarded more sympathetically. Looking back, it has been possible to see that the successive periods of boom produced real and enduring expansion as well as a certain amount of waste. In fact it has been generally recognized that the part played by the banks was one of the most important factors in Germany's industrial advance. The distinctive characteristic of joint stock banking in Germany is the integration of branches of finance which elsewhere are often separated. The creditbanks very largely control the supply of funds for all purposes and may be tempted to favour capital developments unduly, for the sake of profits on the issuing transactions and also in the desire to extend their future business.