There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
The correct conclusion in my view is that we need to be pre-emptive in avoiding these types of problems in the future. Monetary policy should not be aimed at cleaning up a mess, but leaning against the wind to avoid the mess in the future.
Experience, however, shows that neither a state nor a bank ever have had the unrestricted power of issuing paper money without abusing that power; in all states, therefore, the issue of paper money ought to be under some check and control; and none seems so proper for that purpose as that of subjecting the issuers of paper money to the obligation of paying their notes either in gold coin or bullion.
Under a gold standard, sound government has a much better chance; its leaders can say to the people and to the politicians, "We can't do it unless we increase taxes." The gold standard is a form of protection against spendthrift governments.
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