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Criteria for central bank assets: lessons from pre-ECB France


  • William R. Nelson


The Banque de France was founded in 1800 to discount bills and issue currency. Initially, it was a private institution run by its stockholders. The Banque was nationalized in 1936 and its governing council was staffed by officials with a mandate to represent various interests in society. The Banque's autonomy was largely restored in 1973, and the Banque became officially independent in 1994. Whereas the Banque had originally lent appreciable sums to the Treasury, such lending was scheduled to be eliminated beginning in 1993 as part of the move toward monetary union. At that time the monetary policy operations of the Banque were revised substantially. The Banque also operates as a commercial bank, including taking deposits and holding an investment portfolio, although such activities are secondary to its responsibilities as the central bank.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Nelson, 2002. "Criteria for central bank assets: lessons from pre-ECB France," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Q 2, pages 33-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:2002:i:q2:p:33-34

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