By Michael D. Bordo, Forrest Capie
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Extra resources for Monetary Regimes in Transition (Studies in Macroeconomic History)
As an issue of the Economist (1866, p. 1252) of the period pointed out, "Gold money is becoming the money of commerce . . The large obligations of modern times are best settled in a costly metal. Gold i s . . R. Linderman testified to the The scramble for gold in the 1870s 25 US Monetary Commission (1876, vol. II, p. 199) that irrespective of what standard nations adopted in the 1870s, people would not transact in silver. If they could not use gold, he argued, they would use paper. 57 Transactions in coin after 1850 were still sufficiently abundant to make convenience in domestic exchange an important issue.
252, 253). 2. Soetbeer's estimates, reprinted in Laughlin (1886, p. 218). 36 Giulio Gallarotti end of the decade, and total decadal production in the 1860s was 7 percent lower than production in the 1850s. These differential trends in supply promised to compound the effects of prevailing demand conditions in moving the values of gold and silver in directions that would threaten national gold supplies. And, in fact, the latter half of the decade saw the price of silver dip and remain below 61ppp, and the market bimetallic ratio move from a level that was below the legal ratio in Latin Union nations (thus encouraging a large gold circulation because gold was overvalued at the mints) to one that was above the legal ratio (thus threatening to drive gold out of circulation).
Even in the latter quinquennia, however, the average yearly increase from the previous quinquennia was still well below the average yearly net imports of silver into India. 126 But aside from contributing to a mild decline in the price of silver in the late 1860s, the increase added more concern about the market for metals, especially in light of the fact that the production of gold during the 1860s was declining. 1 Silver: net imports into India and world production, 1851-79 Year Net imports of silver into India (1) (000) 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 $14,327 23,025 11,529 148 40,972 55,366 61,095 38,641 55,738 26,640 45,432 62,751 63,984 50,394 93,343 34,815 27,970 43,005 36,602 4,710 32,564 3,523 12,257 23,211 7,777 35,994 73,382 19,853 39,349 World production of silver (2) (000) $39,875 40,725 49,550 60,250 88,625 112,500 Net imports as a percentage of world production 36 58 29 <1 103 136 150 95 137 65 92 127 129 102 188 58 46 71 61 8 37 4 14 26 9 32 65 18 35 Notes: 1.