A History of Monetary Unions by John Chown

By John Chown

During this complete old evaluation, the writer writes approximately financial Unions with admirable completeness. Written in a readable and relaxing prose, A historical past of financial Unions combines old research with ultra-modern context.

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15 The first currency boards were set up precisely to avoid this problem. g. because of a local recession following a bad cocoa harvest) could have an adverse effect on the UK monetary system. The West African Currency Board was therefore set up in 1912 to issue coins and notes which would only circulate locally. In 1997 the then new Bosnia Currency Board was described as ‘de-dollarisation’. 5 Monetary unions Introduction There are plenty of examples of countries choosing to adopt the currency of another, but true monetary unions between otherwise independent sovereign states are rare.

Currency reconstructions Monetary unions are a form of currency reconstruction in that one currency is replaced by another. There are many other cases, particularly in the postwar period, where, for various reasons, one currency has been replaced by another. On becoming independent, or after a political change, countries generally issue new banknotes and coins and sometimes change the name of the currency. There may, at least at first, be no change of substance, and the new currency remains at par with the old.

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.

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