There are many excellent manuals treating of the history and principles of money, of credit, and of the history, principles and practices of banking, but the author has not found any single book which presents in a concise way the whole general subject of money and banking, so arranged as to make it suitable for use as a textbook. The curricula of many schools and colleges limit the time given to the study of this subject to one year, and there has long been a demand for a textbook presenting the essentials of money and banking in such a way that it could be covered in that time. It is hoped that this book may in some measure meet this need.
It is designed primarily to serve as a textbook for students beginning the study of money and banking in colleges and universities, for advanced classes in commercial high school and academy courses, and for the growing number of young business men who in group study courses and in university evening classes are pursuing studies in this field. It is hoped, however, that it will prove helpful to the general reader and to the business man desiring to gain a better understanding of monetary and banking questions. Since the book is intended as an introduction to the subject, and is written for the general reader as well as for the student, controverted points in monetary science have been avoided as far as possible, or, if not avoided, have been pointed out as debatable ground and the reader has been referred to other works on these questions.
The treatment of Money in Part I follows in a general way the lines made familiar by other standard works to which frequent references are made in the footnotes and in the suggested reading lists at the end of each chapter. The effort has been made to compress this part of the book into the smallest space consistent with a presentation of essentials in the history, theory and principles of money, leaving the major part of the book for the discussion of the principles and practices 0fbanking. In the chapters devoted to banking organization and practice it has been impossible to give consideration to the varying local customs and practices of different types of banking institutions. The aim has been to describe those principles and practices of commercial banking that are common to all banks.
Though the new Federal reserve system introduces far-reaching changes in our banking and currency system, many years must elapse before its full effects can be definitely measured. Throughout Part II frequent reference is made to various provisions of the Act of 1913, and Chapter XXII (The Federal Reserve System. 181. Federal Reserve Banks) is devoted to an analysis of its leading provisions, and a summary of the steps taken in the establishment of the new-system. A proper understanding of the new system, however, can be gained only by following its operations and marking the effect of changes that will certainly be made in the law from time to time. It is believed that the addition of the complete text of the Federal Reserve Act (Appendix) will prove a great convenience to both student and general reader.
Space forbids specific mention of the many writers and bankers to whom I am indebted for help in the preparation of this book. At the end of each chapter are lists of books for collateral reading and throughout the text are footnote references to writings upon which I have freely drawn. To these authors and publishers, and to the many bankers who have supplied suggestions and illustrations, I beg to make grateful acknowledgment.
J. T. H.