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Laissez Faire Banking

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Overview

The idea of free (or laissez-faire) banking has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in recent years. It is a radical idea that challenges much of what many monetary and banking scholars still take for granted - that banking is inherently unstable, that the banking system needs a lender of last resort or deposit insurance to defend it in a crisis, and that the government has to protect the value of the currency. Against this free banking sets an argument which is in essence very simple: if markets are generally better at allocating resources than governments, then what is different about money and the industry that provides it and why should they be treated differently? Laissez-faire Banking is divided into three interrelated sections, dealing with the theory of free banking, historical experiences of it and present-day monetary and banking reforms based on free banking principles. Questions relating to the stability or otherwise of free banking regimes are always paramount, and the practical section discusses various forms of automatic stabilizing mechanisms under free banking. The historical chapters also provide compelling evidence of the ultimate stability of free banking systems as well as discussing how central banking evolved in Britain and the United States and the effects it has had. Finally, the book shows how free banking theory can shed light on important contemporary issues, including European monetary reform, the consequences of a European central bank and the US banking crisis.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An assessment and survey of current approaches in service provision to the elderly with psychological problems emphasizing every day clinical techniques currently used in the UK and the US. The 14 contributors evaluate general health care issues and psychogeriatric management as well as specific practices dealing with a range of disorders from Alzhemier's to Pick's disease concentrating on team approaches, community work, and individual therapy. Ten appendices supply suggested formats for statistical recording, consent forms, staff questionnaires, procedures, and outcome measures. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I Free banking theory 23
2 Automatic stabilizing mechanisms under free banking 25
3 Option clauses and the stability of a laissez-faire monetary system 41
4 Monetary freedom and monetary stability 58
5 Is banking a natural monopoly? 76
6 Models of banking instability 87
Pt. II Historical experience 115
7 Free banking in Australia 117
8 US banking in the 'free banking' period 149
9 Money and banking: the American experience 180
10 Did central banks evolve naturally? 207
11 The evolution of central banking in England, 1821-90 221
12 The evolution of central banking in England: a reply to my critics 248
Pt. III Monetary and banking reform 253
13 Stopping inflation 255
14 Does Europe need a Federal Reserve System? 265
15 Evaluating the hard ecu 281
16 The US banking crisis: the way out 292
Notes 319
Bibliography 357
Index 372
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