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Review of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism by Christine Desan

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  • William Roberds

Abstract

In the eighteenth century, the Bank of England revolutionized money through its large-scale introduction of circulating banknotes. The consequences of this revolution are felt even today. In Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism, Christine Desan argues that this legendary transformation was not a one-off event, but a culmination of long-standing trends within the English monetary tradition. This review concedes Desan's point, but calls attention to other factors that were equally critical to the Bank's success: exceptional business and political acumen, active suppression of competitors, and lots of good luck. The importance of these factors is evidenced by the failure of attempted copycat institutions in other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • William Roberds, 2016. "Review of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism by Christine Desan," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(3), pages 906-921, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:54:y:2016:i:3:p:906-21
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.20151332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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