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Bills, notes and money in early New South Wales, 1788–1822


  • Decker, Frank


This article provides a revised account of the development of financial instruments, money and banking in the early penal colony of New South Wales. It is found that private instruments monetised the economy, while the role of state debt, coin and commodities was to finally settle remaining balances. Money originated in the form of small merchant notes. These were created by the need to pay labourers and underpinned a local pound currency standard. A detailed review of colonial court cases and currency legislation reveals that the first bank was founded, contrary to colonial orders, to remove the disruptive impact of exchange rate fluctuations and to achieve a stable private note issue at par with pound sterling bills on London.

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  • Decker, Frank, 2011. "Bills, notes and money in early New South Wales, 1788–1822," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 71-90, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:18:y:2011:i:01:p:71-90_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary policy in deflation: the liquidity trap in history and practice," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 101-124, March.
    2. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
    3. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Benjamin Pugsley, 2006. "The Mistake of 1937: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 151-190, December.
    4. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
    5. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
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