The Experience of Free Banking

The Experience of Free Banking

The Experience of Free Banking

The Experience of Free Banking

Synopsis

For many years, the philosophy of central banking reigned supreme, and was virtually unquestioned despite its shortcomings. Yet these problems--especially the inability to produce currency that does not inflate--have led to a resurgence in free, or laissez faire, banking. Some of this interest has focused on theoretical issues, but much historical work has been compiled on places and periods that experienced some form of free banking. The Experience of Free Bankingcontains the widest summary to date of this work, including assessments of free banking in Australia, the United States, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Scotland, and Switzerland, and a world overview. Competition in banking has been suppressed because it triggers rapid inflation, will destabilize the banking industry, and because banking is a natural monopoly. These case studies provide a historical laboratory in which these assumptions about free banking are tested, and in almost every instance, found to be invalid.

Excerpt

The idea for this book was initially suggested by Chris Tame of the Libertarian Alliance. Historical free banking came to prominence in the early 1980s with Lawrence H. White’s work on Scottish free banking, but it quickly became apparent that the Scottish experience was only one of a number of historical free banking episodes that had long been neglected by economists and monetary historians, and researchers were soon discovering more (and still are). He suggested it would be a good idea to bring some of these experiences together to see what could be learned from them, and this book is the result. I should therefore like to thank Chris for the initial idea, and Alan Jarvis of Routledge for his support and patience in seeing the project through to completion. Thanks are also due to Kurt Schuler for his helpful advice, and last, but certainly not least, to each of the authors who were kind enough to contribute to it. I hope these essays will persuade others of the importance of free banking and encourage them to explore it further.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.