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Genèse des banques centrales et légitimité de la monnaie

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2017


Michel Aglietta
Affiliation:
Université de Paris X-Nanterre

Extract

Des événements contemporains de première grandeur sont des champs d'investigation privilégiés pour nourrir la réflexion théorique sur la nature de la monnaie, sur son organisation dans les sociétés libérales et ouvertes, sur sa place dans la science économique.

Les bouleversements de l'ex-URSS provoquent une désorganisation des échanges les plus élémentaires par disparition de la pratique sociale dont la monnaie est la règle : le paiement des transactions dans un médium unanimement acceptable. Le retour du troc souligne son énorme coût social : fragmentation des échanges qui se bilatéralisent, arbitraire des termes et des conditions de l'échange soumis exclusivement aux rapports de force entre les échangistes, immédiateté des relations économiques entravées par la désorganisation présente et l'incertitude future des approvisionnements. Les tentatives spontanées de contournement du troc entraînent la prolifération de banques de poche, hors de toute réglementation et de toute supervision.


Summary

Summary

The central bank is a major institution of market economics. As the outcome of a long evolutionary process, the central bank is a creation of the market, not a creation of the state. The modem transaction theory of money and payments Systems, coupled with historical evidence drawer from American British experiences, can help show this basic result. Because interbank payments have to be centralized, the best way to solve the trade-off between efficiency and security of payments is the settlement of clearing balances on the books of the central bank.

This insight leads us to refuse the manicheism of hayekian doctrine with regard to the debate between Free Banking and Central Banking. Because it is the center of the payments system, the central bank has differentiated itself from other banks through a learning process. Concern for systemic and global stability emerged in the Bank of England during the half century prior to World War I. The Bank developed both the lender of last resort principles and the guidance of the money market by bank rate in order to achieve convertibility.

In the 20th century, powerful social and political trends have nationalized money. The prominence of convertibility has given way to economic policy. However the monetary authorities must have legitimacy to carry out their responsabilities towards the general public. For this involvement to be credible, the central bank shall not support any special interest group. Independence of central banks in the institutional implication of these requirements.


Type
Commerce, Marché, Monnaie
Copyright
Copyright © Les Éditions de l’EHESS 1992

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