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Interest Rates Under the U.S. National Banking System

Staff Report 161 | Published February 1, 1994

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photo of Neil Wallace

Neil Wallace

Bruce A. Champ

Interest Rates Under the U.S. National Banking System


According to previous studies, the demand-liability feature of national bank notes did not present a problem for note-issuing banks because the nonbank public treated notes and other currency as perfect substitutes. However, that view, when combined with nonbindingness of the collateral restriction against note issue, itself an implication of the fact that some eligible collateral was not used for that purpose, implies that the safe short-term interest rate is pegged at the tax rate on note circulation. Since evidence on short-term interest rates is inconsistent with such a peg, that view must be rejected.

Published in: _Journal of Monetary Economics_ (Vol. 34, No. 3, 1994, pp. 343-358)