Liberty and the Spread of Central Banking


This colloquium addressed the question: how did central banking become the overwhelmingly dominant monetary arrangement worldwide? Participants explored the economic, political, and intellectual forces responsible for the worldwide spread of central banking.


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

Laidler, David. “Central Bank as the Lender of Last Resort––Trendy or Passé?” Working paper, C. D. Howe Institute, 2004.

Broz, J. Lawrence. “The Origins of Central Banking: Solutions to the Free-Rider Problem.” International Organization 52, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 231-268.

Helleiner, Eric. The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003.

Marcussen, Martin. “Central banks on the move (Part I).” Journal of European Public Policy 12, no. 5 (October 2005): 903-915.

Marcussen, Martin. “Central banks on the move (Part II).” Journal of European Public Policy 12, no. 5 (October 2005): 915-923.

Schuler, Kurt. “The Failure of Central Banking in Developing Countries.” The Freeman (April 1, 1995): 1-4.

Selgin, George and Lawrence H. White. “A Fiscal Theory of Government’s Role in Money.” Constitutional Political Economy 37, no. 1 (1999): 154-165.

Steil, Benn. “The End of National Currency.” Foreign Affairs 86, no. 3 (May/June 2007): 83-96.