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Resolving the National Banking System note-issue puzzle

Author

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  • Bruce A. Champ
  • Neil Wallace

Abstract

Under the National Banking System, 1863-1914, national banks that deposited sufficient collateral could issue notes provided they paid a tax on notes in circulation: 1 percent per year before 1900 and 1/2 percent thereafter. Because note issue was far below the allowed maximum, an arbitrage argument predicts that short-term nominal interest rates should have been bounded above by the tax rate. They were not. That is the note-issue puzzle. Our resolution takes the form of a model in which notes play a role, but in which the profitability of note issue is not tied to anything that resembles a market rate of interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce A. Champ & Neil Wallace, 2003. "Resolving the National Banking System note-issue puzzle," Working Paper 0316, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0316
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
    2. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Inside and outside money as alternative media of exchange," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 443-468.
    3. Champ, Bruce & Wallace, Neil & Weber, Warren E., 1994. "Interest rates under the U.S. national banking system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 343-358, December.
    4. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-141, February.
    5. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "A model of private bank-note issue," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 104-136, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asaf Bernstein & Eric Hughson & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2008. "Can a Lender of Last Resort Stabilize Financial Markets? Lessons from the Founding of the Fed," NBER Working Papers 14422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank notes ; National banks (United States);

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