Humor to lend, 1819.

"You state in your letter that you find it difficult to comprehend, why persons who had a right to demand coin from the Banks in payment of their notes, so long forebode to exercise it. This no doubt appears paradoxical to one who resides in a country where an act of parliament was necessary to protect a bank, but the difficulty is easily solved. The whole of our population are either stock holders of banks or in debt to them. It is not the interest of the first to press the banks and the rest are afraid. This is the whole secret. An independent man, who was neither a stock-holder or debtor, who would have ventured to compel the banks to do a justice, would have been persecuted as an enemy of society…"

So wrote Condy Raguet, Philadelphia State Senator, economist and merchant, to fellow economist David Ricardo, April 18, 1821. (David Ricardo, Minor Papers on the Currency Question, 1809-23, quoted also in Rothbard, The Panic of 1819, page 10.)


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