By John F Chown
EMU could be trumpeted because the nice financial test in financial union, yet as John Chown exhibits during this terrific publication, there were many different examples of financial unions through the years - a few winning, others no longer so. during this complete ancient review, the writer writes approximately financial unions with an admirable completeness and covers such subject matters as: the most efficient, financial unions in international locations and parts from Latin the US to The British Empire to Japan and Korea with many in among, the EMU and its coverage ramifications and the CFA Franc area within the former French colonies.
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Extra info for A History of Monetary Unions
To us, an obvious solution would be the creation of low-value token coins in base metal, but some countries, including the UK, regarded it beneath their dignity to issue such coins, while the French populace had a deep and under- The Napoleonic Wars and after 43 standable distrust of any money not represented by full value metal. The British solution, of issuing silver coins worth a modest premium (which at the end of the century was to become substantial) over the silver content and giving them a limited legal tender status, created its own problems.
Milton Friedman,10 in a classic paper, compares Chile and Israel: ‘identical policies, opposite outcomes’ (the policies followed fell short of formal currency boards, but the same principles apply). Do banks create money, and if so, so what? Another weakness of the currency board mentioned above is that it normally only guarantees ‘high-powered money’. When Hong Kong joined China there was a perceived danger of a run on the currency. A holder of Hong Kong dollar notes had the undoubted right to convert these at the fixed rate into US dollars, and the board held reserves which were more than adequate to meet all claims.
There was no excessive issue of paper money, convertibility was eventually resumed with the pound at its old gold parity, and the gold standard was formalised. These differences were the driving force of monetary developments in Europe, with major and unexpected repercussions in the ‘silver standard’ countries of the Far East and Latin America. Bimetallism at that time did really seem to be a convenient arrangement, and only became an emotional issue later in the century. Another important distinction, overlooked by most contemporary commentators, was that the United Kingdom, unlike the French where the idea had become discredited, following experience with the assignats and the earlier machinations of John Law, made extensive use of paper money and of bank deposits.