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美国银行业开放史——从权利限制到权利开放

《美国银行业开放史——从权利限制到权利开放》

路乾 著,社会科学文献出版社,2016.

序一

晚年,欧内斯特·盖尔纳宣称,“美国是生而现代的;美国不需要实现现代性,也没有被强加现代性”。

美国是生而现代的吗?如果是这样,美国历史的经验教训对像中国这样的发展中国家就没有太多参考价值。路乾在书中明确指出美国并非生而现代,并且为理解美国如何走向具有竞争性经济与政治的现代社会提供了清楚的历史证据。这本书的洞见有助于帮助我们理解任何希望发展的国家所面对的问题。

路乾在学术上做出了三个重要贡献。第一,他强调了发生在州层面而非国家层面的制度变迁。美国人倾向于关注国家层面的历史,这阻碍了他们理解19世纪早期美国的种种。在1789年建立了联邦政府后,多数重要的政府职能由州政府和地方政府承担。路乾专注研究的银行业,几乎完全是由州政府发展起来的。马萨诸塞州是第一个为大量银行授予法人章程的州,到1820年,它比其他州有更多的银行和银行资本。虽然联邦政府向美国第一银行和第二银行授予了章程,但是银行业政策由州政府制定。

第二,路乾专注于经济与政治互动的研究。路乾并没有在给定的经济背景下分析马萨诸塞州怎样处理银行业的政治问题,或是在给定的政治背景下分析马萨诸塞州的银行业怎样影响经济发展;相反地,他在一个内生框架中将政治与经济结合起来分析问题。出于经济效用与盈利的考虑,马萨诸塞州的经济精英希望建立银行。这些经济利益促使马萨诸塞州的联邦党操控着获取银行章程的渠道,从而实现了自身的有效组织与持续运行。这种对银行章程获取渠道的操控,并非如同“寻租理论”通常解释的那样,仅仅用以回馈联邦党的支持者并使联邦党员更加富有,而是用来帮助联邦党协调政治联盟。这不是基于经济目的展开的对经济的政治操控。

第三,路乾专注于分析精英与精英间的竞争。他提出了一个难以回答的问题:为什么在一系列经济和政治制度下享受特权的精英愿意解除这些制度并取消他们自己的特权?问题的答案不可能简单的是,精英看到了让所有人获得章程的经济利益,因为在通往银行业开放的过程中,现有银行的拥有者几乎必定会遭受损失。当民主共和党在1812年控制了议会和州长一职时,他们威胁要消灭所有联邦党银行。对既有利益的威胁不可能仅仅通过联邦党重新掌权(他们确实重新获得了权力)得到解决,因为威胁将仍然存在。在1812年,民主在美国仍然是新事物,而马萨诸塞州精英认识到,没有一个政党可以一直赢得公开选举。他们有两个选择。一是继续在政治上操控经济利益,以试图确保主导的政党总会赢得选举。二是调整创造经济特权的制度,允许公民获得银行章程并享受特权。当然,银行业开放减少了银行章程的价值,但也使得所有银行相信,无论哪个政党掌权,它们都会继续运营下去。在1812年危机之后,马萨诸塞州选择了第二条路。

路乾的著作为上述过程怎样在马萨诸塞州展开提供了一个深入的历史记述。这一实证研究详细且令人信服。这本书提供了美国人民自己尚未认识的关于美国历史的新见解。而更重要的是,这本书为探究社会怎样从限制型社会向开放型社会转型提供了一个窗口。在开始理解社会转型的一般过程之前,我们需要更多类似的详细的历史研究。

 

约翰·约瑟夫·瓦利斯

马里兰大学经济学教授、国民经济研究局研究员

 

 

PREFACE

Towards the end of his life Ernest Gellner declared, “America was born modern; it did not have to achieve modernity, nor did it have modernity thrust upon it. ”Ernest Gellner, Anthropology and Politics: Revolutions in the Sacred Grove (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), p. 18.  Was the United States born modern? If so, the lessons that United States history might offer to developing countries today, like China, may have little relevance. The critical insight of Qian Lu’s book is to provide clear historical evidence that the United States was not born modern, and to understand how it made its way to a modern society with a competitive economy and polity. The insights of the book help us all understand the problems facing any country that wants to develop today.

Qian Lu makes three important contributions. First, he places emphasis on institutional changes that occurred at the state, rather than the national level. Americans tend to focus on their national history, which is an impediment to understanding early 19th century America. After establishing the national government in 1789, most of the important functions of government were undertaken by state and local governments. Banking, the sector Qian Lu focuses on, was undertaken almost completely by the states. Massachusetts was the first state to charter large numbers of banks and by the 1820 had more banks and bank capital than any other state. There were two banks chartered by the national government, the First and Second Banks of the United States, but it would be the states that would determine banking policy.

Second, he focuses on the interaction of economics and politics. Rather than taking the economy as given and analyzing how Massachusetts deals with the politics of banking, or taking politics as given and analyzing how banking in Massachusetts affected economic development, Qian Lu brings both pieces together in an endogenous framework. Individual economic elites in Massachusetts wanted to establish banks because of the economic utility and profitability. Those individual economic benefits enabled the Federalist political party of Massachusetts to manipulate who got a bank charter in ways that enable the party to organize and sustain itself. The manipulation was not just designed to reward Federalist supporters and make Federalists wealthier, the normal rent seeking explanation, it was designed to help the Federalist coordinate a political coalition. This was political manipulation of the economy for political purposes. It was not economic manipulation of politics for economic purposes.

Third, he focuses on elites and intraelite competition. He asks the difficult question, why would elites who enjoy privileges under a set of economic and political institutions be willing to dismantle those institutions and eliminate their privileges? The answer to this question cannot simply be that elites saw the economic benefits of letting anyone charter a bank, because in the process of moving to open access in banking the existing owners of banks would almost certainly be made worse off. When the Democratic Republicans gained control of both the legislature and the governor’s office in 1812, they threatened to eliminate all but one of the Federalists banks. That threat to existing interests could not be solved merely by the Federalists getting back into power (which they did) because the threat would still exist. Democracy was new in the United States in 1812, and as Massachusetts elites learned that no one party could always expect to win an open election. They had two choices.One was to continue to politically manipulate economic interests in an attempt to insure that the dominant party always won elections. The other was to adjust the system of creating economic privileges to allow any citizen to charter a bank and enjoy the privilege. Opening access, of course, reduced the value of a bank charter to any individual bank, but it insured that all banks could credibly believe that they would remain in operation no matter which party was in power.  After the crisis in 1812, Massachusetts chose the second alternative.

Qian Lu’s book provides an in depth historical account of how this process played out in Massachusetts. The empirical work is detailed and convincing. It provides a new insight into United States history, one the Americans themselves have been slow to recognize. More importantly, however, it provides a window into how a society can begin to move from limited to open access. We need many more of this type of detailed historical studies before we can begin to understand the general process of the transition. 

John Joseph Wallis

University of Maryland and NBER

 

 

序二 

美国史学家宣称美国革命几乎改变了一切。在英国的殖民统治下,美洲殖民地的经济受到了严厉管制,这些管制多数是为了保护母国的利益。例如,殖民地没有银行,且仅有少数商业企业存在。英国希望美洲的“帝国臣民们”选择英国的金融服务且同英国的企业进行贸易往来,而不是建立起自己的金融服务系统和商业企业。

历史学家同样宣称,1775~1783年的独立战争使美国走向了自由,进而建立了美国自己的银行和企业。很快地,美国利用手中的自由权利建立了各式各样的银行与企业,美国经济也开始了稳定的增长,而正是这种长达一个世纪的增长使美国成为世界头号经济体。

路乾对美国马萨诸塞州银行史的详细研究,开辟了历史解释的新领域,挑战了美国独立改变了一切的观点。那种观点认为,美国独立促使管制体制从扼杀银行和企业发展的体制,转型为允许新银行和企业自由进入的体制。18世纪90年代,亚历山大·汉密尔顿领导的联邦党与托马斯·杰弗逊领导的民主共和党,在国家和州两个层面展开了竞争政治权力的角逐。

马萨诸塞州是联邦党的根据地,联邦党在1790~1820年的多数时期控制了该州的议会和州长职位。在那时的美国,银行和商业企业必须从州政府处获得章程。唯一的例外是美国银行,作为中央银行,它于1791年获得了国会颁发的章程。

路乾在书中指出,1790~1811年,联邦党通过控制马萨诸塞州政府保证了银行章程全部流向了联邦党党员,而非民主共和党党员。更有趣的是,他的研究发现,在马萨诸塞州联邦党授予了章程的银行中,有许多银行董事同时是联邦党州议员。这很难说银行业是自由准入的,反而更像某种“裙带资本主义”的事物。

然而,美国政治在国家和州两个层面都是竞争性的。在马萨诸塞州,联邦党对州政府的控制以及用这种控制仅为联邦党员授予银行章程,招致了强烈的政治反对。1811年,民主共和党掌控了参众两院及州长一职。随后,它的行为与联邦党如出一辙。它宣称不再更新联邦党授予的、即将在1812年失效的银行章程,并且仅向民主共和党党员授予银行章程。

1812年,联邦党重新控制了马萨诸塞州州政府。此时,它的行为与之前有所不同。在认识到政治风向的改变会导致被赶出银行业,联邦党开始如同对待自己支持者一样向民主共和党派系成员授予银行章程。由此,马萨诸塞州的银行准入变得更加自由了。在接下来的几十年里,马萨诸塞州的银行数量领先于其他各州。相应的,其工业化和经济发展同样保持着领先地位。

路乾向我们展示了美国政治经济变迁中的一个迷人而令人信服的历史场景。我自己对美国早期银行业的研究让我能够对路乾的研究有个小修正。银行业在美国早期是一个新兴行业。那时的美国人对银行业知之甚少。有证据表明,早期的美国议员将银行看作一个公共事业而不是一个向任何人开放的行业。因此,议员们仅向马萨诸塞州的每个城镇授予一个银行章程,可能不仅仅是为了制造垄断利润,更主要的是因为他们相信阻止银行间毁灭性的竞争是保障公共利益的需要。联邦党议员仅赞成向联邦党员授予银行章程,可能是因为他们担心民主共和党控制的银行会出于经济以及政治原因,引致银行间的毁灭性竞争。

我对路乾的研究的修正仅适用于美国建国后的早期,即18世纪90年代及其后几年。到了1811年,正如路乾所宣称的那样,很明显,联邦党员将章程仅授予其党员及朋友更多的是出于私利而非公共利益。了解到银行并非真正为了公共利益服务,以及在1811年失去权力时体会到了政治变化中银行的脆弱性,在1812年重新获得权力时,联邦党决定让银行业变得更加自由,并且让其政治反对者获得他们想要的银行章程。

我为路乾教给美国人一些他们此前从未知晓的自己的历史而表示祝贺!

 

理查德·西拉

经济学荣誉教授、亨利·考夫曼金融制度与

金融市场史教授(1990~2015)

纽约大学

 

 

FOREWORD 

Historians of the early United States have contended that the outcome of the American Revolution changed nearly everything. Under British colonial rule, the American colonies were heavily regulated in their economic affairs, mostly to protect the interests of the Mother Country. There were, for example, no American banks and only a handful of business corporations. Great Britain wanted the King’s subjects in America to use British financial services and trade with British corporations, not establish their own.

The War of Independence, 1775-1783, made America free, the historians argued, and that included the freedom to establish their own banks and corporations. Soon, instead of having no banks or corporations, Americans used their freedom to establish all sorts of them, and the American economy began to expand at steady, perhaps increasing, rates of growth that in roughly a century would make the United States the world’s leading economy.

Qian Lu’s detailed study of the early history of banking in one U.S. state, Massachusetts, plows new ground of historical interpretation by challenging previous views that American independence from Britain changed the regulatory regime from one that stifled banking and corporate development to one that allowed virtually free entry of new banks and corporations. During the 1790s, two political parties, the Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton, and the Democratic Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson, arose to compete for political power at the national level and in each of the U.S. states.

Massachusetts was a stronghold of the Federalist Party, which controlled the legislature and the governorship most of the time from 1790 to 1820. In the United States banks and corporations received their charters from state government. The only exception was the Bank of the United States, the central bank, which Congress chartered in 1791; otherwise all banks were created by U.S. states, not the federal government.

Qian Lu demonstrates that the Federalists used their control of the government of Massachusetts to grant banking charters only to Federalists, not Democratic Republicans, from 1790 to 1811.Even more interesting is his finding that many of the people involved in the banks the Massachusetts Federalists chartered were also Federalist state legislators. This was hardly freedom of entry into banking. It was more like what later would be called “crony capitalism.”

U.S. politics were competitive, however, at both the national and state levels. In Massachusetts, Federalist control of the state government and the use of that control to limit bank charters only to Federalists led to a political backlash. The opposition Democratic Republicans gained control of the state government, both the legislature and the governorship, in 1811. Then they behaved just like the Federalists. They vowed not to renew the charters of the banks the Federalists had chartered, which were to expire in 1812, and they proceeded to grant bank charters only to Democratic Republicans.

In 1812, the Federalists regained control of the Massachusetts government. Now they behaved differently. Realizing that shifts of political winds could lead to their being shut out of banking, they began to charter banks backed by the opposition Democratic Republicans as well as their own Federalist supporters. Entry into banking became considerably freer in Massachusetts. The state went on to lead the United States for decades in its number of banks as well as in industrialization and economic development.

Qian Lu presents us with a fascinating and convincing account of this important transition in American political economy. My own studies of early U.S. banking would lead me to offer one minor amendment to Qian Lu’s story.Banking was a new business in the young United States. Americans had little experience with it. There are some indications that early American state legislators viewed banking as more a public utility than a competitive enterprise that should be free and open to everyone. Therefore, they may have chartered only one bank in many Massachusetts towns not merely to generate monopoly rents for that bank, but because they thought it was in the public interest to prevent ruinous competition between banks. And the Federalist legislators might have granted charters only to Federalists because they feared that banks controlled by the Democratic Republican opposition would, for political as much as economic reasons, have engaged in such ruinous competition.

My amendment to Qian Lu’s story would apply only to the earliest years, the 1790s and perhaps a few years thereafter. By 1811, it seems clear, as Qian Lu contends, that the Federalists were restricting charters to themselves and their friends more to promote private profit than the public interest. Knowing by then that banking was not really a public utility, and that they were vulnerability to political change as they learned in 1811 when they lost power, they decided when they regained power in 1812 to make bank entry freer and let the political opposition have the banks it wanted.

I congratulate Qian Lu for teaching Americans something they had not previously known about their history.

Richard Sylla

Professor Emeritus of Economics; Henry Kaufman Professor of

the History of Financial Institutions and Markets (1990-2015)

New York University

 

 

序三

 

通过使用大量未经发掘的马萨诸塞州银行家与政治家的资料,路乾提供了关于包容性政治系统与权利开放型经济的叙事分析,这些分析是令人信服的,也是原创性的。在1811年的一次政治危机中,先前在权力之外的民主共和党威胁关闭马萨诸塞州的银行,并以此消除联邦党在之前掌权时所积累的经济租金。这场危机促使成立了一个两党的联盟,以构建一个更开放包容并较少受选举政治的激变影响的章程许可制度。虽然政治和经济精英并没有放弃对银行业的控制,但他们放弃了通过政党授予法人章程的方式,向利益团体输送经济租金和操控经济过程。为奋力构建道格拉斯·诺斯所谓的“游戏规则”,路乾的分析对政治与经济变迁动态进行了原创性的洞察。规则制定者的选择为后世企业家团体的崛起和壮大提供了机会。

 

霍华德·博登霍尔

经济学教授

克莱姆森大学

 

 

FOREWORD

Employing a wide range of previously overlooked sources on Massachusetts’s bankers and politicians, Lu provides a compelling and original narrative about the connection between inclusive political systems and open access economies. A political crisis in 1811 in which a previously out of power Democratic Republican party threatened to shut down the state’s banks and eliminate the economic rents accruing to previously in power Federalists. The crisis provoked a bi-partisan coalition to institute a more open and inclusive chartering regime less subject to the vagaries of electoral politics. While the political and economic elite did not relinquish their control over banking, they abandoned the practice of awarding economic rents to favored groups and manipulating economic process through overtly partisan corporate chartering. Lu’s analysis offers an original insight into dynamics of political and economic change in a polity struggling with the establishment of what Douglass North labels the “rules of the game.” Their founding choices provided opportunities for later generations of entrepreneurs to emerge and thrive.

 

Howard Bodenhorn

Professor of Economics

Clemson University

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