By means of the oral history method, this paper examines the factors that facilitated access to loans in the early years of Czechoslovak transition. Giving voice to entrepreneurs, bankers, and policymakers, I show that the research based on this approach is complementary to scholarly written literature, as it fills in the gaps and offers the human dimension of historical events. The oral history narratives are an essential part of the historical discourse and have enormous potential for explaining and understanding the experience of businessmen and bankers in periods of huge turmoil such as pivoting from a centrally planned economy to capitalism. Three dominant motifs emerged in our interviews that relate to who got credit in the early years of transition: (1) pressure from the government; (2) the debts from socialism and other criteria for granting loans; and finally (3) social capital and corruption.

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