Origins of American Banking
This set examines the development of banking in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century. When Congress first tried to introduce a unified currency to finance a national army it failed because of the large number of counterfeit notes in circulation. Similarly two attempts to set up a central bank resulted in bankruptcy. Even after the Mint was set up, the Federal government's theoretical monopoly over coinage did not stop states from using their charter to set up note issuing banks. The resulting corruption and fraud let to experiments in regulation and a system of 'free banking'. The material included examines such issues as the role of a central bank, banking regulation, banks and the money supply.