Banksters Are Embezzlers
Rothbard’s The Mystery of Banking
by Gary North
The Mystery of Banking is a unique academic treatise on money and banking, a book that combines erudition, clarity of expression, economic theory, monetary theory, economic history, and an appropriate dose of conspiracy theory. Anyone who attempts to explain the mystery of banking – a deliberately contrived mystery in many ways – apart from all of these aspects has not done justice to the topic. But, then again, this is an area in which justice has always been regarded as a liability. The moral account of central banking has been overdrawn since 1694: “insufficient funds.”
I am happy to see this book back in print. I had negotiated with Dr. Rothbard in 1988 to republish it through my newsletter publishing company, but both of us got bogged down in other matters. I dithered. I am sure that the Mises Institute will do a much better job than I would have in getting the book into the hands of those who will be able to make good use of it.
I want you to know why I had intended to republish this book. It is the only money-and-banking textbook I have read that forthrightly identifies the process of central banking as both immoral and economically destructive. It identifies fractional-reserve banking as a form of embezzlement. While Dr. Rothbard made the moral case against fractional-reserve banking in his wonderful little book What Has Government Done to Our Money? (1964), as far as I am aware The Mystery of Banking was the first time that this moral insight was applied in a textbook on money and banking.