Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE FORESIGHT OF INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE - Democratick Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy
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“THE FORESIGHT OF INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE” - William Leggett, Democratick Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy 
Democratic Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy, Foreword by Lawrence H. White (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1984).
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“THE FORESIGHT OF INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE”
May 13, 1837.
Why not leave banking, then, to “the wholesome caution and sagacious foresight which regulate individual enterprise?” Can any one give an intelligible answer why? We have asked this question often, but never met with a response that addressed itself to the judgment of men.
The Board of Trade, of this city, has embraced the occasion of the present crisis in the monetary affairs of the country, to renew its recommendation of the scheme of a federal bank.
. . .
A National Bank never yet, in this or any other country, afforded an effectual preventive or remedy for revulsion. Unlimited and unrestricted competition would build up the best system. It would give you a bank possessed of all the financial powers which a federal bank could be clothed with, and without the political powers, which, aside from the constitutional difficulty, compose the main ground of objection to such an institution. Let us have no overshadowing monopoly, but as gigantick an institution as you please, so long as its growth is only nourished by the demands of commerce, under the wholesome checks which competition supplies.
We have tried various other experiments; but that last, and best, and most certain experiment, remains yet to be tried. It is an experiment in perfect accordance with the principles of freedom, both political and economical. It violates no man’s equal rights. It shuts no man out from the field of enterprise he may deem himself best qualified to cultivate. The time has arrived when a really energetick demand for the emancipation of the credit system from the fetters of political control would be listened to. Let us not spend our strength, then, in clamouring for a federal bank, which the democracy of the country will never grant. Let us join in the cry for free banking. It cannot at all events, make our condition worse than it has been rendered by the odious system of concatenated state monopolies.