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On the inherent instability of private money

  • Daniel R. Sanches
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    We show the existence of an inherent instability associated with a purely private monetary system due to the role of endogenous debt limits in the creation of private money. Because the bankers’ ability to issue liabilities that circulate as a medium of exchange depends on beliefs about future credit conditions, there can be multiple equilibria. Some of these equilibria have undesirable properties: Self-fulfilling collapses of the banking system and persistent fluctuations in the aggregate supply of bank liabilities are possible. In response to this inherent instability of private money, we formulate a government intervention that guarantees that the economy remains arbitrarily close to the constrained efficient allocation. In particular, we define an operational procedure for a central bank capable of ensuring the stability of the monetary system.

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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 12-19.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:12-19
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    1. Gaetano Antinolfi & Elisabeth Huybens & Todd Keister, 2000. "Monetary Stability and Liquidity Crises: The Role of the Lender of Last Resort," Working Papers 0001, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    2. Champ, B. & Snith, B.D. & Williamson, D.S., 1991. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 292, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    3. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Andres Erosa & Theodosios Temzelides, 1997. "Private money and reserve management in a random matching model," Working Papers 97-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Mills, David C., 2007. "A Model In Which Outside And Inside Money Are Essential," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 347-366, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Costas Azariadis & James B. Bullard & Bruce D. Smith, 2000. "Private and public circulating liabilities," Working Papers 2000-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Shouyong Shi, 1996. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Working Papers 930, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. Martin, Antoine & Schreft, Stacey L., 2006. "Currency competition: A partial vindication of Hayek," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2085-2111, November.
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