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Government & The American EconomyA New History$
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Price V. Fishback

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226251271

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.001.0001

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Reversing Financial Reversals: Government and the Financial System since 1789

Reversing Financial Reversals: Government and the Financial System since 1789

Chapter:
(p.115) 5 Reversing Financial Reversals: Government and the Financial System since 1789
Source:
Government & The American Economy
Author(s):

Richard Sylla

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.003.0005

Most informed observers today would agree that the United States has just about the best financial system in the world. Its problems are newsworthy mostly because they arise in a context of a well-functioning financial order, not one that is disorderly. The federal government easily collects tax revenues to cover most of its expenditures, and it manages a huge national debt of $8 trillion. The U.S. dollar remains the world's preeminent currency. The U.S. banking system is dynamic and efficient. The country has the world's largest and arguably most innovative securities markets. Its corporations are world leaders in many industries. This chapter traces the development of the U.S. financial system over the course of two centuries in terms of the political economy of its interactions with government. It first looks at the financial reversals of 1801–1832 and 1832–1863 before turning to the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Keywords:   United States, financial system, financial reversals, U.S. Federal Reserve, currency, banking, securities markets, political economy, government

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