Summary of The Chicago Plan Revisited

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The Chicago Plan Revisited summary
Everything old is new again: How a 1930s economic idea could work in a 21st-century economy.


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International Monetary Fund economists Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof dust off a 1930s economic idea and update it with 21st-century analytical tools. During the Great Depression, leading economists proposed “the Chicago Plan” to abolish fractional reserve banking. The goal: to get banks out of the money-creating business and to restore that function to government, thus eliminating bank runs, cutting government debt and smoothing economic cycles. Today, in the aftermath of financial circumstances eerily reminiscent of those of the Great Depression era, Benes and Kumhof provide compelling new evidence that the Chicago Plan could hold the answer to monetary and economic reform. Unlikely as it may be that the plan could be enacted, though it is a topic of inside conversation, getAbstract recommends this treatise to economists, policy makers and academics for its alternative take on the US’s financial infrastructure.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “the Chicago Plan” proposes,
  • Why its components would benefit the economy and the financial sector, and
  • How historical conclusions as well as modern analytics support the plan’s concepts and results.


“The Chicago Plan”
In the 1930s, the leading lights of economic and monetary policy attempted to understand the causes of the Great Depression, a catastrophic meltdown. They centered their attention on the behavior and actions of the banking sector, specifically private banks and the central...
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About the Authors

Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof are senior economists at the IMF.

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