By John Chown
During this finished old evaluation, the writer writes approximately financial Unions with admirable completeness. Written in a readable and relaxing prose, A historical past of economic Unions combines ancient research with state-of-the-art context.
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Additional info for A History of Monetary Unions
This was not a problem with early currency boards, but has become one in countries which need to restore both an acceptable currency and a recapitalisation of the banking system. In Hong Kong, in normal circumstances, a holder of local currency deposits could readily convert these into Hong Kong dollars, but in a crisis might have to exercise two separate claims, first demanding Hong Kong dollars from the bank and second, converting the notes into US dollars. Reserves being adequate, there was no problem with the second claim, but an attempt to hold the currency against a major run would have brought down the banking system.
Owners of land and other visible assets can be dealt with fairly easily, but owners of gold, and foreign assets (including currency and overseas bank accounts) and hoarders of foodstuffs or commodities may escape. A currency exchange may be designed to bring ‘black’ money into the open. Notes are declared obsolete and no longer legal tender, and are called in to be replaced. Those wishing to exchange an amount defined as ‘excessive’ would be required to explain how they came by it. This is, to an extent, a by-product of any exchange, and owners of large hoards of DM and other EU currencies are said to be having to work hard on the run-up to the introduction euro notes.
Types of ‘fixed’ monetary arrangement 17 virtue, and their vice, is that they have no influence over money supply, interest rates or exchange rates, but they do offer a really convincing fixed exchange rate. 5 Some boards permit gold, and longterm bonds, to be included in the backing even though these involve a risk (and opportunity) compared with holding short-term government backed assets. Some only require a percentage backing: examples are the Eastern Caribbean (60 per cent) and Brunei (70 per cent).
A History of Monetary Unions by John Chown