Pascal Salin Many of the texts which have been used for the present book were presented as papers at a conference organized in Brussels by Michiel van Notten for the 1 Institutum Europaeum in December 1980on the subject of European Monetary Union and Currency Competition. However, this book is more than the mere proceedings of a conference. It aims at presenting the reader with an homogenous text, not a patchwork of papers, in spite of the large number of contributors. Though it would be absurd to pretend that these contributors -some of whom are prominent thinkers - agree on everything, their dissenting opinions do not go beyond the usual qualifications one may find in a book of which the final direction is quite clear, but where the requirement of intellectual strictness leads to the analysis of both the pros and the cons of a problem. It may also seem to some that this book deals with two different subjects, currency competition and monetary union, which have been joined together more or less randomly. We believe, however, that this impression will be dis pelled as soon as they commence reading. Both sections of the book deal with one and the same topic: the optimal organization of a monetary system. Present efforts to achieve European monetary unification all suffer from the same preju dices with respect to the organization of the monetary systems within each country and within the world as a whole.
Table of ContentsGeneral introduction.- General introduction.- One: Currency Competition.- I. The theory of currency competition.- 1. The future unit of value.- 2. Currency competition: A sceptical view.- 3. Monetary integration and monetary stability: The economic criteria of the monetary constitution.- II. The history of currency competition.- 1. Private competitive note issue in monetary history.- 2. The Scottish banking system in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.- 3. The need for a lender of last resort.- 4. Further remarks on past experiences.- 5. The British monetary experience, 1797–1821.- III. The history of monetary thought on currency competition.- 1. Central bank monopoly in the history of economic thought: A century of myopia in England.- 2. Past justifications for public intervention.- Appendix to Chapter III. Free banking and currency competition: A bibliographical note.- IV. The current debate: The return to gold and the liberalization of banking.- 1. Backgrounder on the gold standard.- 2. Going for solid gold.- Appendix. Senate of the United States Bill S.1704: To provide for the minting of U.S. gold coins.- Two: Monetary Union.- to Part Two. Which monetary integration?.- V. The European Monetary System.- 1. From the myth of the ‘snake’ to the myth of the ‘E.C.U.’.- 2. Monetary Europe today: A cartel of central banks.- VI. Is the adjustable peg a viable option?.- 1. The adjustable peg: A viable option for the E.M.S.?.- 2. Monetary target or exchange-rate target?.- 3. The adjustable peg: An illusory compromise.- VII. Freely flexible exchange rates or a common currency?.- 1. Freely flexible exchange rates or a common currency? A new look at the issue.- 2. Political union and monetary union.- VIII. Exchange controls for ever?.- 1. Exchange controls for ever? The experience of the United Kingdom.- 2. Why do exchange controls exist?.- 3. A case for temporary exchange controls?.- IX. Towards a better European Monetary System.- Appendix to Bibliographical Note (Lawrence H. White).- The authors.- Index of names.