Records of the Bank of Scotland 1695 2001

Research Director and author of the ASI’s new report “Quids In: How sterlingization and free banking could help Scotland flourish”, Sam Bowman, writes for The Wall Street Journal Europe:

The Scottish independence debate has been dominated by one question: What currency would an independent Scotland use? Ever since Chancellor George Osborne ruled out the prospect of a formal currency union between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, Alex Salmond’s Scottish Nationalists have evaded the question, threatening their chances of victory in next month’s referendum on a split from the U.K.

But if Scots looked to their own history they would find a surprisingly simple solution. The best choice for Scotland, even better than a currency union, would be “adaptive sterlingization”—use of the British pound without a currency union with the rest of the U.K., combined with financial reforms that removed deposit insurance, reserve requirements and central-bank protections from banks.

Read the full article here.

The report, “Quids In: How sterlingization and free banking could help Scotland flourish”, can be read and downloaded for free here.

The report argues that an independent Scotland could have a more stable economy than the rest of the UK if adopted a policy of, what it calls, ‘adaptive sterlingization’, which combines unilateral use of the pound with financial reforms to remove government protection of established banks.