The business of accepting deposits and lending money
  • Central Banking - The practice of establishing a country's monetary policy through a government-owned or -controlled institution


Bank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A bank is a business that provides banking services for profit. Traditional banking services include receiving deposits of money, lending money and processing transactions. Some banks (called Banks of Issue) issue banknotes as legal tender. Many banks offer ancillary financial services to make additional profit; for example: selling insurance products, investment products or stock broking. ..."


Anatomy of the Bank Run, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Free Market, Sep 1985
Explains fractional reserve banking, deposit insurance and monetary inflation
"... the depositor who thinks he has $10,000 in a bank is misled; in a proportionate sense, there is only, say, $1,000 or less there. And yet, both the checking depositor and the savings depositor think that they can withdraw their money at any time on demand. Obviously, such a system, which is considered fraud when practiced by other businesses, rests on a confidence trick ..."
Cartels: Economists and Central Bankers, by Gary North, 11 Jul 2007
Discusses why economics textbooks never delve into the necessity of central banking
"Those few people who understand the inherent moral fraud in all fractional reserve banking find that they are not understood by their peers. They also find that their arguments are not taken seriously by academic economists. They find it difficult to explain why the entire profession has made a monumental methodological error in not applying the theory of monopoly to central banking."
Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 31: Ludwig von Mises on the Case for Gold and a Free Banking System, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Jun 1999
Examines Mises' thinking on the gold standard (why it is needed and that it not be subject to political manipulation), free banking and what is needed for it to succeed
"How a free banking system would create incentives on the part of those owning and managing unregulated private banks to restrain their issuance of what Mises called 'fiduciary media' (bank notes and bank deposit accounts not 100 percent fully covered by gold and other specie reserves in their banks) was concisely explained by him in Monetary Stabilization and Cyclical Policy ..."
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 33: Murray N. Rothbard and the Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Sep 1999
Examines the arguments made by Rothbard in his 1962 essay "The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar"
"... these emerging bankers soon came to realize that they could extend additional loans to borrowers in the form of 'notes' that looked exactly like the warehouse receipts issued to their gold and silver depositors. ... This, Rothbard argued, was the beginning of 'fractional-reserve banking.' ... that also meant that the total face value of notes and receipts in circulation now exceeded by some multiple the amount of gold and silver against which they represented a claim."
Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
The Housing-Financial Meltdown Revisited, by Sheldon Richman, 11 Oct 2013
Examines the history behind the 1933 Glass-Steagall act, its repeal in 1999, and the causes behind the 2008 financial meltdown
"This is hardly to suggest that all was well with banking before Dodd-Frank. Not by a long shot. The industry was a corporatist monstrosity, a cartelized affair that included government deposit insurance, which protects banks from conscientious depositors who would otherwise scrutinize their lending practices. But the 1999 repeal of one section of Glass-Steagall was not among the problems."
The Prophet of the Great Depression, by Frank Shostak, 4 Oct 2006
"We can thus see here that as long as banks facilitate commodity credit, they should be seen as agents of wealth generation. In contrast, whenever banks embark on the lending of circulation credit they in fact become agents of real wealth destruction. As opposed to commodity credit, circulation credit is not supported by any real saving. This type of credit is just an empty claim created by banks."
Inflation Deflation Red-flation Blue-flation, by Matthew Beller, Mises Daily, 24 Jul 2008
Explains what is inflation, what is money, contrasts "bad" vs. "not-bad" inflation and analyses the Federal Reserve's recent and potential actions
"When a depositor places a sum of money in a checking account at a fractional-reserve bank, the bank may loan out 90% of his deposit to another person with the assumption that the depositor will not withdraw all of his funds. When the bank extends such a loan, the depositor has effectively loaned his money to the borrower, but without his knowledge. In fact, both the depositor and the lender will have legal title to the same sum of money at the same time."
Related Topic: Inflation
Interview with Adam Smith [via Edwin West], by Edwin George West, The Region, Jun 1994
Professor Edwin G. West stands in for Adam Smith and answers questions from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis banking and policy issues magazine
"I never believed that banking was a strong exception to my free market ideas. I always insisted that the state should assume no supervision over entry into the banking business. It should, in fact, encourage the erection of as many banking enterprises as possible, and it should give monopolies to none."
Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard, 1988
Partial contents: The Young Scholar - The Theory of Money and Credit - The Reception of Mises and of Money and Credit - Mises in the 1920s: Economic Adviser to the Government - Mises in the 1920s: Scholar and Creator
"Mises distinguished two separate kinds of functions undertaken by banks: channeling savings into productive credit ('commodity credit'), and acting as a money-warehouse in holding cash for safekeeping. Both are legitimate and non-inflationary functions; the trouble comes when the money-warehouses issue and lend out phony warehouse receipts (notes or demand deposits) to cash that does not exist in the bank's vaults ('fiduciary credit')."
  • ISBN 9999827659: Paperback, Ludwig von Mises Institute, First edition, 1988
Lysander Spooner, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Oct 2005
Lengthy biographical and bibliographical essay; from Spooner's birth to 1850-1860, examining his writings on economics, money, banking, mail delivery and slavery
"Through the National Banking Act of 1863, Congress guaranteed the notes of authorized bankers and legally protected them from liability for debt. A national tax of 10 percent for all money not authorized by Congress was also established. Through such measures, Spooner believed that Congress held a de facto and unlawful monopoly over the most important industry to the American economy — banking."
Related Topics: Lysander Spooner, Rights
The Many Monopolies, by Charles W. Johnson, 24 Aug 2011
Describes four ways in which markets are distorted by government interventions, explains Tucker's "Four Monopolies", examines five present-day monopolies and discusses Tucker's libertarian views
"Tucker saw that monetary control not only secured monopoly profits for insulated banks, but also concentrated economic ownership throughout the economy, favoring the large, established businesses that large, established banks preferred to deal with. Tucker identified the Money Monopoly as an economic force in 1888—before the Fed and fiat currency, the FDIC, Fannie, Freddie, the IMF, or trillion-dollar bailouts to banks 'too big to fail.'"
The Mystery of Banking, by Joseph T. Salerno, The Mystery of Banking, Sep 2008
Foreword to the 2008 Mises Institute edition
"Rothbard's presentation of the basic principles of money-and-banking theory in the first eleven chapters of the book guides the reader in unraveling the mystery of how the central bank operates to create money through the fractional-reserve banking system and how this leads to inflation of the money supply and a rise in overall prices in the economy."
Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
The Organization of Debt into Currency: On the Monetary Thought of Charles Holt Carroll, by Robert Blumen, Mises Daily, 27 Apr 2006
Review of the fractional reserve banking and monetary arguments made by Charles Holt Carroll, a 19th century Massachusetts merchant, in a collection of 36 essays re-published in 1964 in Organization of Debt into Currency and Other Papers
"Fractional reserve banking is a term describing the capital structure of a bank that has loaned funds that were placed there on deposit. This is problematic because deposit and loan transactions are fundamentally different. A deposit is a contract for the storage of currency in the bank to be held in safekeeping and returned immediately on demand. The deposited funds must be available at all times should the depositor wish. In contrast, a loan is a transfer of ownership and availability for a definite term."
Related Topics: Money, Gold Standard, Inflation, Prices

Cartoons and Comic Strips

A Banker's Thanksgiving, by Chan Lowe, 25 Nov 2008
Related Topic: Socialism


The Mystery of Banking [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard, 1983
Electronic text available at the Ludwig von Mises Institute


GMU's Lawrence H. White on Free Banking and the Gold Standard (11/18/10), by Lawrence H. White, 18 Nov 2010
Central Banking vs. Free Banking and the Gold Standard, presentation by Lawrence H. White, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, at the Cato Institute's 28th Annual Monetary Conference
Related Topics: Central Banking, Gold Standard

How To Be a Crook, by Larken Rose, 7 Apr 2012
A progression of seven methods to rob from your fellow human beings
Related Topic: Federal Reserve System

The Secret of Oz, by Bill Still (writer, director), 1 Oct 2009
Uses The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to examine the history of banking from ancient times to the 2008 financial crisis

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve, by Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1996
Explains the origins of money and banking, how and why the Federal Reserve was created and the effects it has had on society. Dedicated to Murray Rothbard.


The Banks Are Broke, by Joseph T. Salerno, The Lew Rockwell Show, 22 Jul 2008
Lew asks Salerno why the entire banking industry is threatened if a big bank is allowed to go bankrupt