“The United States has experienced many periods of major banking panics during which a large number of banks have failed and financial markets have been in considerable disarray. The period consid-ered by many as the worst is the one period when banks were more or less left alone to pursue their own profit-motivated interests, the period known as the Free Banking Era (1837-63). Its problems are often cited as evidence that banking should be regulated. On a reevaluation of the Free Banking Era, which develops and examines far more detailed empirical evidence on this period than has been considered in any previous research, we find that the history of free banking was not as chaotic as many believe.” Read more.
“New Evidence on the Free Banking Era”
Arthur J. Rolnick and Warren E. Weber
The American Economic Review, Vol. 73, No. 5 (Dec., 1983), pp. 1080-1091
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