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Volume Listing > Volume 48 > Banking without banks: George Smith and the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company

Smith, Alice E. (Alice Elizabeth), 1896- "Banking without banks: George Smith and the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company"


Banking Without Banks: Subtitled "George Smith and the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company," this article describes how one entrepreneur responded in 1839 to the popular and legislative mistrust of banks following the Panic of 1837. His firm issued certificates of deposit and circulated them as frontier banks did, but he refused to call his company a bank, mainly to appease the Wisconsin anti-bank politicians. When a new banking law was passed in 1853, the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company was worth $1.4 million. The article describes in detail how credit and currency were provided during an era of enormous economic expansion, but also in which ignorance, fear and politics held back the development of modern banks. (14 pages)

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Citation: Smith, Alice E. (Alice Elizabeth), 1896- "Banking without banks: George Smith and the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company" Wisconsin Magazine Of History. Volume: 48 /Issue: 4 (1964-1965)

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