The Rationale of Central Banking and the Free Banking Alternative
By Vera C. Smith
The Rationale of Central Banking invites us to reassess our monetary institutions and give reform proposals due consideration. The decades since it first appeared in 1936 have restored its themes to relevance. Government-dominated monetary systems have continued to perform poorly. Other experience, as well as the work of James Buchanan and the Public Choice School, has heightened skepticism about government generally. People are now willing to discuss what Vera Smith set out to examine: “the relative merits of a centralized monopolistic banking system and a system of competitive banks all possessing equal rights to trade” (p. 3)…. [From the Preface, by Leland B. Yeager]
First Pub. Date
Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc. Liberty Press
The text of this edition is under copyright.
The publisher would like to thank Mrs. Brenda K. Fowler and Mr. A. Wilson-Smith for their help in bringing their sister’s book back into print. Their assistance has been invaluable.
The Rationale of Central Banking was originally published in 1936 by P. S. King and Son in London. We have added the subtitle and the
Free Banking Alternative to more adequately reflect the breadth and spirit of the work.
For this Liberty
Press edition, we have newly set the type. Obvious spelling errors have been silently corrected. Footnotes are now numbered consecutively within each chapter. Otherwise, the text and the footnotes have been retained and styled as they were in the original. The bibliography, however, has been significantly enhanced. Citations in the original edition included only last name, title, and year. We have provided full bibliographic information. For their assistance in providing this information on American, English, French, German, and Italian titles, we would like to thank the following scholars: Professor Lawrence White of the University of Georgia, Professor Philippe Nataf of the University of Paris, and Dr. Reinhold Veit and Mrs. Wendula v. Klinckowstroem of the Walter Eucken Institut. A new, full index has been prepared for this edition.