The Law of National Guaranteed Banks in Argentina, 1887–1890: Free-Banking Failure or Regulatory Failure?

This article appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Independent Review


Many analysts have characterized Argentina’s four years under the Law of National Guaranteed Banks as a period of “free banking,” which suggests—incorrectly—that the financial crisis of 1890 was a failure of free banking. In reality, that law regulated banks and encouraged them to become less solvent.

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