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On the inherent instability of private money

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  • Daniel R. Sanches
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    Abstract

    We show the existence of an inherent instability associated with a purely private monetary system due to the role of endogenous debt limits in the creation of private money. Because the bankers’ ability to issue liabilities that circulate as a medium of exchange depends on beliefs about future credit conditions, there can be multiple equilibria. Some of these equilibria have undesirable properties: Self-fulfilling collapses of the banking system and persistent fluctuations in the aggregate supply of bank liabilities are possible. In response to this inherent instability of private money, we formulate a government intervention that guarantees that the economy remains arbitrarily close to the constrained efficient allocation. In particular, we define an operational procedure for a central bank capable of ensuring the stability of the monetary system.

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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2012/wp12-19.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 12-19.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:12-19

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    Related research

    Keywords: Banks and banking; Central;

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    1. Gaetano Antinolfi & Elisabeth Huybens, 2000. "Monetary Stability and Liquidity Crises: The Role of the Lender of Last Resort," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1156, Econometric Society.
    2. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Andres Erosa, 1998. "Private Money And Reserve Management In A Random Matching Model," Macroeconomics 9802010, EconWPA.
    3. Bruce Champ & Bruce D. Smith & Stephen D. Williamson, 1996. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 828-64, November.
    4. Cavalcanti, Ricardo de O & Wallace, Neil, 1999. "Inside and Outside Money as Alternative Media of Exchange," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 443-57, August.
    5. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James & Smith, Bruce D., 2001. "Private and Public Circulating Liabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 59-116, July.
    6. David C. Mills, Jr., 2006. "A model in which outside and inside money are essential," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
    8. Antoine Martin & Stacey L. Schreft, 2003. "Currency competition : a partial vindication of Hayek," Research Working Paper RWP 03-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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