Scale and Scope: Coinage, Arbitrage, and Bimetallism

Marc Flandreau

in The Glitter of Gold

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199257867
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601279 | DOI:
 Scale and Scope: Coinage, Arbitrage, and Bimetallism

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Chapter 6 documents the role of arbitrage networks on the operation of bimetallism. Focusing on the experience of the Rothschilds, its shows how bankers organized themselves in order to take advantage of the profits associated with bullion arbitrage. The response involved a combination of concentration (of refining and coining activities), and decentralization (of partners and associates all over the world to put bullion into motion).

Keywords: Coining; Mint; Refining; Centralization; Economies of Scale; Economies of Scope; Nationalization; Farming out; Coinage technology

Chapter.  13873 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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