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Could the United States have had a better central bank? An historical counterfactual speculation

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  • Bordo, Michael D.

Abstract

This article argues that two alternative hypothetical central bank scenarios could have improved upon the Federal Reserve’s track record with respect to financial stability and possibly overall macroeconomic performance in its first century. The first scenario is to assume that the charter of the Second Bank of the United States had not been revoked by Andrew Jackson in 1836 and the Second Bank survived. The second scenario takes as given that the Second bank did not survive and history evolved as it did , but considers the situation in which the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was closer to the original plan for a central bank proposed by Paul Warburg in 1910.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 597-607

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:597-607

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

Related research

Keywords: Federal Reserve; Second Bank of the United States; Warburg Plan; Gold standard; Lender of last resort;

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References

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  1. Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, and the Panic of 1837," NBER Working Papers 7528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bordo, Michael D. & Vegh, Carlos A., 2002. "What if Alexander Hamilton had been Argentinean? A comparison of the early monetary experiences of Argentina and the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 459-494, April.
  3. Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2009. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics during the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Federal Reserve District Border, 1929-1933," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1031-1073, December.
  4. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2003. "Financial Systems, Economic Growth, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 373-416 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1997. "Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 5883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bordo Michael D. & Dittmar Robert D & Gavin William T., 2007. "Gold, Fiat Money, and Price Stability," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-31, August.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Athanasios Orphanides, 2012. "Introduction to "The Great Inflation"," NBER Chapters, in: The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, pages 1-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Beyer, Andreas & Gaspar, Vítor & Gerberding, Christina & Issing, Otmar, 2009. "Opting out of the great inflation: German monetary policy after the breakdown of Bretton Woods," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  9. Michael D. Bordo, 1981. "The classical gold standard: some lessons for today," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 2-17.
  10. Michael D. Bordo & David C. Wheelock, 2011. "The promise and performance of the Federal Reserve as Lender of Last Resort 1914-1933," Working Paper 2011/01, Norges Bank.
  11. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
  12. Eugene N. White, 2011. "“To Establish a More Effective Supervision of Banking”: How the Birth of the Fed Altered Bank Supervision," NBER Working Papers 16825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Knodell, Jane, 2003. "Profit and duty in the Second Bank of the United States' exchange operations," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 5-30, April.
  14. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
  15. Michael D. Bordo & Owen Humpage & Anna J. Schwartz, 2007. "The historical origins of US exchange market intervention policy," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 109-132.
  16. Goodfriend, Marvin, 2011. "Central banking in the credit turmoil: An assessment of Federal Reserve practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-12, January.
  17. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
  18. Marvin Goodfriend, 1988. "Central banking under the gold standard," Working Paper 88-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  19. Michael D. Bordo & Marc Flandreau, 2003. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 417-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
  21. Beyer, Andreas & Gaspar, Vítor & Gerberding, Christina & Issing, Otmar, 2008. "Opting out of the great inflation: German monetary policy after the break down of Bretton Woods," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/01, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  22. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  23. Douglas A. Irwin, 2010. "Did France Cause the Great Depression?," NBER Working Papers 16350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
  25. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, October.
  26. Bordo, Michael D. & White, Eugene N., 1991. "A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 303-316, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter L. Rousseau, 2013. "Politics on the road to the U.S. monetary union," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00006, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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