New Scientific Aspects

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28 chapter two terms and rise or fall more slowly than others. Thornton used money wages as an example of a price that was fixed in nominal amount and argued that, as a result, real profits rise and real wages fall in periods of (unanticipated) inflation. 11 Thornton saw that short-term monetary disturbances had no lasting real effect. Money is neutral in the long run. 12 In contrast to Ricardo, Thornton argued that replacing a convertible currency with inconvertible paper causes the market price of gold to rise above the mint price even if the nominal amount of paper money remains unchanged.

Arguments of this kind became popular in government, but not just in government. This literature neglected to mention either the gains that debtors received or the losses that creditors would experience if inflation resulted. The argument became part of the case against higher interest rates and an end to the wartime pegging policy. PLAN OF THE VOLUME Central banking institutions developed and spread in the nineteenth century. Understanding of the role of money and monetary institutions followed.

With the usury law repealed, the bank experimented with the use of bank rate as a means of controlling base money. 27 A money market had developed, and the principal institutions had accepted distinctive roles. The Bank of England had a set of social objectives, some partial understanding of the steps required to achieve these objectives, and glimmerings of an understanding of the short-run consequences of its actions. Both the market and the bank realized that the bank’s responsibilities went beyond those of an ordinary bank to include the role of lender of 27.

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