A driving motivation for the Bank Charter Act of 1844 was to institutionalize/centralize seignorage and impose limits on how much influence commercial banks have in terms of money creation (along m4 lines). Background here:https://wcfia.harvard.edu/files/wcfia/files/471_01-05broz-grossman.pdf

In today's digital world, issuing actual notes is somewhat trivial. In effect, credit/deposit accounts can be created largely at the discretion of commercial banks. At first glance it would seem that the 90%+ money in the form of commercial bank accounts is a modern manifestation of a nearly-identical issue identified by Sir Robert Peel and supporters centuries earlier.

I would like to see where conventional economic thinking stands on this issue.


Has legislation simply not caught up with digital disruption in money creation or is this more about lack of political will (regulatory capture)? Or perhaps there is an entirely separate, more benign explanation as to the disconnect of policy and industry over the past 200 years?

  • $\begingroup$ Please bear in mind that this is an international site. It's fine to ask a question or refer to events relating to a particular country, but please indicate the country in the title or near the start of the text. In this case, it was only when I came to "Sir Robert Peel" (UK Prime Minister in the 1840s) that I realised you were referring to the UK (where I happen to live). Those from elsewhere in the world may well have wondered who Sir Robert was. $\endgroup$ – Adam Bailey Jan 13 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ “Deposit creation” (lending) is not at the discretion of banks - they face extremely detailed capital constraints that are continuously revised. It is an extremely safe bet that Peel’s thinking about banking is obsolete. $\endgroup$ – Brian Romanchuk Jan 13 at 14:03

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