Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Review of Free Banking: Theory, History, and a Laissez-Faire Model, by Larry Sechrest
Volume 13, Number 3 (Fall 2010)
Complete with an extensive new preface, the republication of Larry Sechrest’s Free Banking is well-timed. The new preface is an important contribution to the ongoing debate within Austrian circles over banking freedom versus 100 percent reserve banking. Easier access to the book will be an asset for those wishing to better understand and/or teach the fundamental importance of money and the monetary framework, the role of banking, and the role of financial inter-mediation for a well-functioning market economy. The release of the book is also well-timed, coming just as fallout over the current meltdown has rekindled the important debate over money and financial market reform. This debate will occur both within Austrian circles as well as in the broader economics profession. Because the current cycle has attracted wider interest in and receptiveness towards Austrian perspectives — particularly toward the claim that central banks are the likely causal or enabling agent of bubbles and boom-bust cycles (Leijonhufvud 2008; and Cochran, 2010) — Austrian economists have an enhanced opportunity to become important players in this debate. Stressing the elimination of central banking as an important first step in avoiding future crises of this type should be at the forefront of the Austrian contributions. However, the banking freedom debate, of which Free Banking is an important contribution, is a critical subsidiary in the broader debate over the foundations of a stable monetary framework.
Cite This Article
Cochran, John P. Review of Free Banking: Theory, History, and a Laissez-Faire Model, by Larry Sechrest. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 13, No. 3 (Fall 2010): 120–125.