Cover: Banking Theories in the United States before 1860, from Harvard University PressCover: Banking Theories in the United States before 1860 in E-DITION

Banking Theories in the United States before 1860

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$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674186668

Publication Date: 01/01/1927

240 pages


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  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I: The Utility of Banks As a Source of Media of Payment
    • I. The Functions of Banking
      • Tendency to make banking synonymous with note issue
      • Banking operations classified as deposit, discount and issue
      • Is note issue essential?
      • Banks considered as agencies in the distribution of loanable funds
      • Banks as clearing houses for the cancellation of debts and credits
      • Summary
    • II. Early Minor Arguments Concerning the Merits of Banks
      • The desirability of banks a moot question
      • Minor advantages ascribed to banks
      • Arguments of their early critics
    • III. Banks Increase the Country's Capital
      • Inflationist notions in the colonies
      • Their revival with the appearance of modern commercial banks
      • Their general refutation after the first few decades
      • The doctrine that bank-note inflation lowers the interest rate
      • Douglass's doctrine of appreciation and interest
    • IV. Banks Provide an Inexpensive Substitute for Metallic Currency
      • Smith's statement of the doctrine
      • Minor corrections at the hands of American writers
      • Critics of this alleged benefit of banking
      • Conclusion
    • V. Banks Drive Specie Out of the Country
      • Colonial treatment of the doctrine
      • Its influence at the end of the eighteenth century
      • The views of later writers
    • VI. Banks Cause Price Fluctuations
      • Introductory
      • The charge that banks cause price fluctuations
      • The doctrine that convertibility prevents overissue
      • Criticism of this thesis
      • Theory that the manner in which notes are placed in circulation prevents overissue
      • And that the amount of notes in circulation is a result of conditions of trade
      • A just adjudication of the dispute
      • Colwell's well-considered views
      • Summary
    • VII. Banks Provide an Elastic Currency
      • The elasticity of bank currency, except in its mischievous aspects, generally ignored
      • But a few writers did give attention to it
  • Part II: The Utility of Banks As Agencies in the Distribution of Loanable Funds
    • VIII. Banks Serve As Intermediaries Between Borrowers and Lenders
      • The thesis that banks are mere intermediaries in their lending operations the prevailing one
      • Their alleged benefits as such
      • Basis of the dogma that banks cannot lend more than they receive from depositors and shareholders
      • The error into which the quantity theorists fell here
      • Some inklings of a deeper insight
      • The persistence of this issue even to the present day
    • IX. Banks Direct Capital into Undesirable Channels
      • Banks of no assistance to farmers
      • Their loans encourage speculation primarily
      • Possibilities of discrimination in making loans
    • X. Summary of Views on the Nature and Utility of Banks
      • The dual role of commercial banking
      • The utility of banks as source of a form of currency
      • The utility of banks as distributors of loanable funds
  • Part III: Bank Notes and Bank Deposits
    • XI. The Nature of Bank Deposits
      • Early recognition that deposits constitute part of the currency
      • Failure generally to realize that deposits may be created by the banks
      • A few instances in which this was understood
      • Conclusion
    • XII. Principles of Note Issue—Convertibility
      • The need of convertibility little understood in the colonies
      • Convertibility was generally assumed in the later period
      • Belated land-bank projects
      • Other advocates of an inconvertible currency
      • The banking principle as basis for such a proposal
      • Stephen Colwell's notable statement of the thesis
    • XIII. Principles of Note Issue (continued)
      • The currency principle
      • The question of small notes
      • Bond-secured issue
      • The safety-fund system
    • XIV. Principles of Note Issue (continued)
      • Legal reserve requirements
      • Suffolk Bank System
      • Taxing banks for regulative purposes
      • Banking structure
  • Part IV: Banking Policy and the Business Cycle
    • XV. Banking Policy
      • The importance of short loans
      • The relative merits of different types of commercial paper
      • The discount rate
    • XVI. Theories of the Causes of Crises and Cycles
      • Agnostic theories
      • Emphasis placed upon the influence of the credit system
      • Attention to the psychology of business men
      • Periodicity of commercial crises
      • Critics of the theory that banks cause the business cycle
      • Theory of the self-generating cycle
      • Influence of maladjustments of production
    • XVII. Suggestions for Moderating the Cycle
      • Loan policy
      • Surplus reserves at New York
      • Abolition of the payment of interest at New York
      • The call-loan evil at New York
  • Bibliography
    • The English background
    • The colonial background
    • The period 1780–1860
      • Secondary sources
      • Primary sources
    • Periodicals

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