Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE REMEDY FOR BROKEN BANKS - Democratick Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy
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THE REMEDY FOR BROKEN BANKS - 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 REMEDY FOR BROKEN BANKS
June 3, 1837.
Governour Marcy is at present in this city. We understand that more projects for tinkering the currency are on foot. It is said that Governour Marcy has signified his willingness to convene the legislature, if petitioned to do so, for the purpose of recommending it to pass an act authorizing the exclusively privileged broken monopoly banks to issue a spurious small note currency. We should not be at all surprized at such a proceeding from Governour Marcy. We used to look on that man as feeble minded, but honest. Our opinion of him in the former respect has undergone no change, except the change from impression to conviction; but in the latter respect we confess we begin to think we were in errour. There are some points in his conduct which certainly cannot easily be reconciled with the idea of perfect political integrity.
The authorizing of the broken banks to issue a small note currency at this time, we should consider one of the most unwarrantable and knavish exercises of legislative power that ever a free people submitted to. There is, beyond all question, a great want of a circulating medium which would enable persons to make change. But it is equally beyond question that there is an abundance of silver and gold coin in the country to supply this want. There never was, indeed, at any former period of our history, so much specie in the country. The only reason why it does not circulate freely, is because the paper currency is spurious and dishonoured, the banks having refused to redeem it, and the legislature having justified them in that refusal. What then is the proper object of remedial measures? Surely not to increase the amount of spurious paper, by authorizing the banks to issue a new class of unredeemable notes, which would only put further off the day of ultimate resumption of specie payments; but to give freedom to that spirit of enterprise which even now, in the chaotick state of things to which exclusively privileged bank monopolies have reduced us, stands ready, if only allowed free scope, to rescue the community from the terrible confusion of general bankruptcy. If Governour Marcy wishes to convene the legislature, let it be for the purpose of repealing all the restraints on the trade in credit and money, and not for imposing new burdens on the defrauded people, for the benefit of a few privileged charter mongers.
If an association of individuals, having fifty millions of dollars worth of real property, at a moderate appraisement, should undertake banking business, in the first place, by some publick act, making that property answerable, beyond all peradventure, for the notes they might issue, who can deny that such an institution would command publick confidence? Who can suppose that their notes would not be readily received as equivalent to silver and gold? Such an association would immediately spring into existence if all restraints on banking were removed, and, as a necessary consequence, the money which is now hoarded would again flow in the accustomed channels of circulation. We should thus have an abundance of actual money for the purposes of change, through the assistance of freedom; not a wretched substitute for money obtained by making a further sacrifice of our rights to the insatiate spirit of monopoly.