Is private currency history repeating itself?

As I and others have said before, free banking & competitive currency provision either completely ignored, or unfairly dismissed by opponents who really don’t know too much about the system. A recent example came on the FT’s Alphaville blog. By author Izabella Kaminska, and entitled “Private money vs totally-public money, plus some history”, it purported to show […]

Regulation seems to cause bank crises, not prevent them

City AM’s Pete Spence (formerly of this parish) reminded me of Mark Carney’s claims in January that free banking systems are more unstable than regulated ones. I’m not so sure. Take a look at these two charts from George Selgin’s Are Banking Crises Free-Market Phenomena?, which mark an x for every instance of a banking panic. […]

How Scotland could flourish by unilaterally keeping the pound

Between 1716 and 1844, Scotland had one of the world’s most stable and robust banking systems. It had no central bank, no lender of last resort, and no bank bailouts. When banks did fail, it was shareholders who were liable for paying back depositors, not taxpayers. Scottish GDP per capita was less than half of […]

Allister Heath lays out his Mark Carney wishlist

In a video out this morning, City A.M. editor Allister Heath calls on Mark Carney to bring the Bank of England into the twentieth century by reforming regulation to emphasise greater interaction with the financial sector, opening up its culture to something less dictatorial, and monetary policy to something more like Nominal GDP Targeting or a Productivity […]

The rise and fall of the Gold Standard

George Selgin, prominent monetary theorist and blogger at, who recently gave an excellent talk at the ASI on “good deflation”, wrote a history of the gold standard in the USA, explaining that there is no one narrative or theme throughout the history, with the fortunes of gold rising and falling with the times. While he […]