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Death of a Reserve Currency

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The Dutch bank florin was the dominant currency in Europe during much of the 17th and 18th centuries. The florin, a fiat money, was managed by an early central bank, the Bank of Amsterdam. Using a new reconstruction of the Bank of Amsterdam's balance sheet, we analyze the florin's loss of reserve currency status during the period 1781–92. The reconstruction shows that by 1784, accommodative policies rendered the Bank of Amsterdam "policy insolvent," meaning that its net worth would have been negative under continuation of its policy objectives. Policy insolvency coincided with the Bank of Amsterdam's loss of control over the value of its money.

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  • Quinn, Stephen F. & Roberds, William, 2014. "Death of a Reserve Currency," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2014-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2014-17
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Nisticò, Salvatore, 2015. "Non-Neutrality of Open-Market Operations," CEPR Discussion Papers 10594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Quinn, Stephen F. & Roberds, William, 2017. "An Early Experiment with "Permazero"," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central banks; reserve currency; policy insolvency;

    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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