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Auerbach's Defense of Defensive Operations

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journal contribution
posted on 01.03.1989 by Karl Brunner, Allan Meltzer

IRVING AUERBACH'S PAPER REVIEWS the history of check collection procedures and recalls the important contribution that the Federal Reserve has made by improving the clearing process and by spreading par collection. It is easy to underestimate the powerful influence of improvements in the check-clearing methods on the spread of deposit banking, or the influence of the Federal Reserve System in reducing the time required for collection and their contributions to the advance of collection technology We are inclined to interpret his opening section in this way, rather than as a suggestion that the former slow and circuitous collection system would return if the Federal Reserve were to follow our recommendation and abolish float. The costs and returns arising from the various collection methods were not discussed in our report, and our recommendation was not intended to suggest that the Federal Reserve eliminate its check-collection service.

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01/03/1989

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