The idea of free (or laissez-faire) banking has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in recent years. It is a novel idea that challenges much of what many 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? "Laissez-Faire Banking" is divided into three inter-related sections, dealing with the theory of free banking, historical experiences of it and present-day monetary and banking reforms based on free banking principles.
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Free banking theory
Automatic stabilizing mechanisms under free banking
Option clauses and the stability of a laissezfaire monetary system
Monetary freedom and monetary stability
Is banking a natural monopoly?
Models of banking instability
The evolution of central banking in England 18211890
The evolution of central banking in England a reply to my critics
Monetary and banking reform
Does Europe need a Federal Reserve System?
Evaluating the hard ecu
The US banking crisis the way out