Central Banking, Free Banking, and the Gold Standard


This conference discussed whether it is possible to achieve sound money through a Gold Standard. The conference also considered which monetary arrangement linking money production to gold might best perform such a function and how an economy might transition to it.


From Liberty Fund

The Rationale of Central Banking

by By Vera C. Smith
Foreword by Leland B. Yeager

The Rationale of Central Banking was first published in England in 1936. Vera Smith spent her professional career in a variety of research positions. She wrote articles and books on money, banking, economic development, and the labor market and translated into English books by Wilhelm Röpke, Oskar Morgenstern, and Fritz…

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Additional Readings

Buchanan, James M. “The Constitutionalization of Money.” The Cato Journal 30, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2010): 251-258.

Cowen, Tyler and Randall Kroszner. Explorations in the New Monetary Economics. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers, 1994.

Eichengreen, Barry. Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Friedman, Milton. A Program for Monetary Stability. New York: Fordham University Press, 1992.

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles. Translated by Melinda A. Stroup. Auburn: Mises Institute, 2006.

Hume, David. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary. Edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1985.

McCloskey, Donald N. and J. Richard Zecher, “How the Gold Standard Worked, 1880-1913” In The Gold Standard in Theory and History, edited by Barry Eichengreen and Marc Flandreau, 57-75. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Meltzer, Allan H. A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2, Book 2, 1970-1986. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Meltzer, Allan H. A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 1: 1913-1951. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Paul, Ron and Lewis Lehrman. The Case for Gold. Washington, D.C.: The Cato Institute, 1982.

Schwartz, Anna J, “Reflections on the Gold Commission Report” In Money in Historical Perspective, edited by Anna J. Schwartz, 317-332. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Spahr, Walter E. “The Outlook for Sound Money in the United States (speech at New York University, September 23, 1954).” Vital Speeches of the Day 21, no. 1 (10/15/1954): 781-784.

Steil, Benn and Manuel Hinds. Money, Markets & Sovereignty. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

White, Lawrence H. The Theory of Monetary Institutions. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1999.

White, Lawrence H. “A Gold Standard with Free Banking Would Have Restrained the Boom and Bust.” The Cato Journal 30, no. 3 (Fall 2011): 497-504.

White, Lawrence H. “Making the Transition to a New Gold Standard.” The Cato Instititute Annual Monetary Conference, Washington, D.C., November 16, 2011.

Wood, John H. “The Great Deflation of 1929-33 (Almost) Had to Happen.” Wake Forest University. (February 9, 2011).

Yeager, Leland B. The Fluttering Veil: Essays on Monetary Disequilibrium. Edited by George Selgin. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1997.