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Death of a Reserve Currency

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Quinn

    (Texas Christian University)

  • William Roberds

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

Abstract

The Dutch bank florin was the dominant currency in Europe over much of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The florin, a fiat money, was managed by an early central bank, the Bank of Amsterdam. We analyze the florin’s loss of “reserve currency” status over the period 1781–92, using a new reconstruction of the Bank’s balance sheet. The reconstruction shows that by 1784, accommodative policies rendered the Bank policy insolvent, meaning that its net worth would have been negative under continuation of its policy objectives. Policy insolvency coincided with the Bank’s loss of control over the value of its money.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Quinn & William Roberds, 2016. "Death of a Reserve Currency," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 63-103, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2016:q:4:a:2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Salvatore Nisticò, 2020. "Non-neutrality of Open-Market Operations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 175-226, July.
    2. Patrick K O'Brien & Nuno Palma, 2020. "Danger to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street? The Bank Restriction Act and the regime shift to paper money, 1797–1821," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 390-426.
    3. Del Negro, Marco & Sims, Christopher A., 2015. "When does a central bank׳s balance sheet require fiscal support?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-19.
    4. Stephen Quinn & William Roberds, 2016. "Death of a Reserve Currency," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 63-103, December.
    5. Spahn, Peter, 2018. "Was war falsch am Merkantilismus?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 26-2018, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Ashwath Komath, 2022. "Bancor Comes of Age: A Case for an Indian Bitcoin Reserve," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 78(1), pages 121-142, March.
    7. Stefano Ugolini, 2018. "The Historical Evolution of Central Banking," Post-Print hal-01887004, HAL.
    8. Patrick K. O’Brien & Nuno Palma, 2019. "Danger To The Old Lady Of Threadneedle Street? The Bank Restriction Act And The Regime Shift To Paper Money, 1797-18211," Working Papers 0082, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    9. Stephen F. Quinn & William Roberds, 2017. "An Early Experiment with \"Permazero\"," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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