Money as Infrastructure

80 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2017 Last revised: 21 Jun 2018

See all articles by Morgan Ricks

Morgan Ricks

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: March 11, 2018

Abstract

Traditional infrastructure regulation—the law of regulated industries—rests atop three pillars: rate regulation, entry restriction, and universal service. This mode of regulation has typically been applied to providers of network-type resources: resources that are optimally supplied as integrated systems. The monetary system is such a resource; and money creation is the distinctive function of banks. Bank regulation can therefore be understood as a subfield of infrastructure regulation. With few exceptions, modern academic treatments of banking have emphasized banks’ intermediation function and downplayed or ignored their monetary function. Concomitantly, in recent decades U.S. bank regulation has strayed from its infrastructural roots. This regulatory drift has been unwise.

Suggested Citation

Ricks, Morgan, Money as Infrastructure (March 11, 2018). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 17-63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3070270 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3070270

Morgan Ricks (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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