Monetary Policy in the United States: An Intellectual and Institutional History

Overview


In this extensive history of U.S. monetary policy, Richard H. Timberlake chronicles the intellectual, political, and economic developments that prompted the use of central banking institutions to regulate the monetary systems.

After describing the constitutional principles that the Founding Fathers laid down to prevent state and federal governments from printing money. Timberlake shows how the First and Second Banks of the United States gradually assumed the central banking ...

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Overview


In this extensive history of U.S. monetary policy, Richard H. Timberlake chronicles the intellectual, political, and economic developments that prompted the use of central banking institutions to regulate the monetary systems.

After describing the constitutional principles that the Founding Fathers laid down to prevent state and federal governments from printing money. Timberlake shows how the First and Second Banks of the United States gradually assumed the central banking powers that were originally denied them. Drawing on congressional debates, government documents, and other primary sources, he analyses the origins and constitutionality of the greenbacks and examines the evolution of clearinghouse associations as private lenders of last resort. He completes this history with a study of the legislation that fundamentally changed the power and scope of the Federal Reserve System—the Banking Act of 1935 and the Monetary Control Act of 1980.

Writing in nontechnical language, Timberlake demystifies two centuries of monetary policy. He concludes that central banking has been largely a series of politically inspired government-serving actions that have burdened the private economy.

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Editorial Reviews

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An extensive history of U.S. monetary policy that chronicles the intellectual, political, and economic developments that prompted the use of central banking institutions to regulate the monetary system. A Cato Institute book. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226803845
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 502
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Genesis of Monetary Control and the First Bank of the United States 1
2 Treasury Policy, 1811-1820 13
3 Central-Banking Growth of the Second Bank of the United States 28
4 Decline of the Second Bank and Rise of the Treasury 43
5 The Specie Circular and the Distribution of the Surplus 51
6 The Independent Treasury System before the Civil War 65
7 Civil War Inflation and Postwar Monetary Policies 84
8 The Panic of 1873 and Resumption 104
9 Controversy over Currency Denominations 118
10 The Political Origin and Judicial Sanction of the Greenbacks 129
11 The Golden Cloud with the Silver Lining 146
12 The Fall of Silver 166
13 Monetary Policy in the Golden Era 183
14 The Central-Banking Role of Clearinghouse Associations 198
15 Advent of the Federal Reserve System 214
16 Summary of Central-Banking Development up to 1914 235
17 The Real-Bills Era of the Federal Reserve System 254
18 The Appearance of the Political Federal Reserve System 274
19 The Reserve Requirement Experiment of the Mid-Thirties 288
20 The Disequilibrium Era: 1940-1951 300
21 The Post-Accord Era of the Fed: 1951-1967 316
22 Destabilizing Factors in Federal Reserve Policy, 1967-1980 332
23 Monetarism and the Pseudo-Monetarism of Federal Reserve Policy, 1979-1983 348
24 The Monetary Control Act of 1980 362
25 The Federal Reserve Approach to Price Level Stability (I) 375
26 The Federal Reserve Approach to Price Level Stability (II) 390
27 What the Fed Cannot Do; What the Fed Can Do; What the Fed Should Do 402
Notes 421
Bibliography 475
Name Index 485
Subject Index 490
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