Charles Coquelin: Banking monopoly and commercial crises, Ch. 8 of Crises and cycles in economic dictionaries and encyclopedias, edited by Daniele Besomi, London: Routledge.

This chapter examines Charles Coquelin’s contribution to the theory of crises in his own and Guillemin’s Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852). The constantly operating cause he identified lies in the monopoly of the bank of issue. This causes a cumulation of tension within the system, as commercial banks deposit with the central bank the capitals they find difficult to place at remunerative rates thereby permitting the bank of issue to continuously expand its discounts, until the situation becomes too fragile to be sustained. Coqueli’s contribution is appreciated especially in terms of his epistemic reflections on the necessity of singling out a common cause that explains all the crises, laying the foundations for formulating a general law of crises.

Presentation of the project