Competition Necessarily Tends to Produce Excess: The Experience of Free Banking in Switzerland
According to McCulloch, Longfield and Loyd, a free banking system is always prone to overissues of bank notes. Their view is supported by the free banking era in Switzerland (1826-1907), where, due to competitive pressures within the banking community and the absence of note-brand loyalty on the part of the general public, overissues (causing a rise in the foreign exchange rates above the upper gold and silver points) finally became permanent. Free competition, therefore, had to give way to collusive action and, in 1907 (with the open consent of the issuing banks), to the establishment of the Swiss National Bank. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003.
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Volume (Year): 4 (2003)
Issue (Month): (August)
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- George A. Selgin & Lawrence H. White, 1994. "How Would the Invisible Hand Handle Money?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1718-1749, December.
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