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Profit and duty in the Second Bank of the United States' exchange operations

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    The Second Bank of the United States (1816 36) faced a potential trade-off between the private profits it was expected to produce for shareholders and the free yet costly fiscal services it was mandated to provide to the Federal government during an era of westward expansion and primitive transportation networks. This article shows that the bank s large-scale dealings in domestic and foreign exchange transformed this potential trade-off into a positive synergy between the bank s private and public obligations. The bank was financially successful because it found a market niche the provision of interregional and international payment services whose exploitation had the added virtue of reducing the cost to the bank of being the Treasury s fiscal agent.

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    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Financial History Review.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 01 (April)
    Pages: 5-30

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:10:y:2003:i:01:p:5-30_00
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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