Finance

British Imperialism and the Making of Colonial Currency by Wadan Narsey

By Wadan Narsey

Wadan Narsey explores how nice Britain sustained monetary supremacy within the overseas economic system within the latter a part of the 19th century, whereas additionally preserving its dedication to conserving the pound sterling totally convertible to a set volume of gold.

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Friedman is somewhat equivocal on the responsibility for the US adoption of the gold standard, noting (p.

16 British Imperialism and the Making of Colonial Currency Systems Where paper currency was being issued, either by colonial governments of private banks, the imperial authorities ensured that the fiduciary portion was backed by British Government securities, or at worst, securities of private metropolitan banking interests, not colonial government securities or those of the dominions. Eventually, when sterling went into decline, far from colonial currencies being regarded as completely convertible, colonies were paradoxically regarded as foreign countries whose currency reserves were a potential drain on Britain’s balance of payments, even though they were net earners of dollar and gold surpluses used by Britain.

Generalized Misconception 17. The discretionary powers over the issue of currency could not be left safely in the hands of colonial governments; while there was no need to create colonial central banks which could foster monetary development, the British authorities did not discourage such institutions. There was no evidence that colonial governments, totally under the control of the Secretary of State for Colonies, were ever irresponsible. Yet all the evidence indicates vehement opposition to colonial central banks, even in large developed economies and the monetary markets such as in India.

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