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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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Early Public Banks II

Early Public Banks II

Banks of Issue

(p.465) 22 Early Public Banks II
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

William Roberds

François Velde

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the note-issuing banks, or banks of issue, established in Sweden, England, France, Vienna, and Prussia after 1650. The note-issuing banks were all founded in monarchies which was the standard. The nature of the monarchical regimes varied, as did the form of ownership. Sweden’s bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, was owned by parliament in a regime that oscillated between absolutist and parliamentary tendencies. By contrast, the Caisse d’Escompte of France was purely private and managed to maintain an arms’ length relation with the government to whom it owed no privilege. In Austria, the Wiener Stadtbank, under the pressures of the monarchy, was reduced to administering the state’s fiat currency. For Prussia, the Königliche Hauptbank (Royal Main Bank) was split into two parts: a discount window that granted credits against short-term paper (and a few other instruments), and a Lombard facility granting loans against non-perishable goods.

Keywords:   banks of issue, Sweden, England, France, Vienna, Prussia, Sveriges Riksbank, Caisse d’Escompte, Wiener Stadtbank, Königliche Hauptbank

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