The question of free banking - or laissez-faire in money - raises fundamental theoretical, historical and normative issues. Discussions of free banking contemplate the consequences of abolishing government central banks, and allowing unrestricted money issue by private banks.
Research on free banking questions has expanded tremendously in the past two decades. These three volumes collect the most important modern articles on the theory, history and policy implications of free banking. The literature is marked by a number of sharp intellectual controversies, and the editor has included both sides of the most important debates. The editor's introduction provides a fresh perspective on the developments in monetary theory and in the real world that have stimulated the several strands of research represented here.
Edited by Lawrence H. White, George Mason University, US
Contents: 1. The British Free Banking School 2. American Free Banking Thought 3. Later British Writers 4. Secondary Accounts of Free Banking Thought 5. The `Free Banking' Era in the United States 6. Other Experiences 7. Private Clearing Houses 8. Free Banking with a Distinct Base Money 9. Competing Non-Commodity Base Monies 10. Competitive Payments Systems without Base Money 11. The Legal Restrictions Theory 12. Policy Implications