The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
Money and Banking
Bruce Felmingham

Sansom (1991) coins the phrase 'a grammar of exchange' to describe pre-whitesettlement modes of payment prevailing in Indigenous Australian communities. This grammar of exchange is a voluntaristic philosophy counterposing a white European one based on the creation of an artificial commodity labelled money. In tribal cultures, aborigines holding surplus work capacity or material possessions are called on to help those in deficit in the expectation that such favours are returned in due course. No prices or values are placed on these exchanges, rendering many of the normal paradigms of an exchange economy redundant. The European settlement of the Australian continent did not have any initial impact on Indigenous Australians and through time Aboriginal culture was able to absorb European money in a bimodal culture of exchange: the Australian dollar applying in relation to transactions in the outside economy and the traditional grammar inside the Aboriginal community. European settlement has not apparently led to the monetisation of the Aboriginal mind.

An explanation of this outcome may be found in Dowd's (1991) analysis of Australia's early monetary history, which indicates that the blueprint for the establishment of the colony of New South Wales did not include a provision for money and banking. The absence of a monetary constitution in 1788 meant that Indigenous Australians were not immediately confronted by a set of institutions, instruments and rules that might have challenged the indigenous philosophy of exchange and trade. The absence of a monetary constitution and the makeshift financial arrangements that replaced it were to have a profound impact on the evolution of Australia's capital market, according to scholars such as Dowd (1988, 1991).


The evolution of Australia's monetary constitution

This lacuna in the first settlers' kitbag was filled by a series of free banking ventures beginning with the Macquarie Bank of New South Wales, established in 1817, and a series of single-branch, colonial ventures without all the nineteenth-century trappings of a regulated financial system. The 1830s pastoral boom, the 1850s gold rush and the resulting financial-capital inflow led to the rapid growth of Australia's unregulated banking system.

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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