- xvii, 66 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
- Additional Authors
- BeÌ?dard, Mathieu.Dowd, Kevin.
- " This publication is based on research that forms part of the Paragon Initiative." -- page facing title page.Includes bibliographical references.Machine generated contents note: 1.Price stability and financial stability without central banks: lessons from the past for the future / George Selgin -- Financial stability without central banks -- Walter Bagehot and the role of central banks -- The cause of financial instability in the pre-Federal-Reserve US -- Price stability -- Concluding remarks -- 2.Questions and discussion -- 3.Selginian free banking: A commentary on George Selgin's lecture / Kevin Dowd -- Free banking and the gold standard: is there an alternative? -- Inferior alternatives to the gold standard -- References -- 4.On chain gangs in financial stability: A commentary on George Selgin's lecture / Mathieu Bedard -- Systemic risk as a chain-gang effect -- Chain gangs in asset markets -- Chain gangs and bank runs -- A reinterpretation -- Conclusion -- References.Summary: George Selgin is one of the world's foremost monetary historians. In this book, based on the 2016 Hayek Memorial Lecture, he shows how a system of private banks without a central bank can bring about financial stability through self-regulation. If one bank stretches credit too far, it will be reined in by the others before the system as a whole gets out of control. The banks have a strong incentive to ensure an orderly resolution if a particular bank is facing insolvency or illiquidity. Selgin draws on evidence from the era of 'free banking' in Scotland and Canada. These arrangements enjoyed greater financial stability, with fewer banking crises, than the English system with its central bank and the US model with its faulty government regulation. The creation of the Federal Reserve appears to have increased the frequency of financial crises. The book also includes commentaries by Kevin Dowd and Mathieu Bédard. Dowd asks whether free-banking systems should be underpinned by a gold standard, which he regards as a tried-and-tested institution at the heart of their success. Bédard challenges the assumption that the banking sector is inherently unstable and therefore requires state intervention. He argues that increases in government control have made the banking system more prone to crisis.