Five reasons for central banks: Are they any good?

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Karl-Friedrich Israel

"So what are the justifications for central banks? [Vera C. Smith (later Lutz)] identified five main arguments for central banks from an economic point of view. Although Smith has written with a gold standard as the underlying monetary system in mind, it is interesting to look at these arguments with the benefit of hindsight more than 80 years later. Has any one of the arguments actually made a strong or even conclusive case for central banking?" (02/22/17)