"Wildcat" is defined by Dictionary.com as "characterized by or proceeding from reckless or unsafe business methods". So, while it certainly wasn't perfect, the totally private baking we had during the 19th Century allowed the unscrupulous to rip people off. Which is why I advocate a return to it.
|Investopedia: The term "wildcat banking" supposedly had its genesis in 1830s banking in Michigan, where bankers were believed to have set up banks in areas so remote that wildcats roamed there. These bank locations were sometimes the only places where the bank's notes could be redeemed, thereby creating a formidable obstacle for their redemption by note holders and providing an unfair advantage to unscrupulous bankers.|
Truth is, deregulation, which I am strongly in favor of, does not work in the consumers' favor, instead benefitting big business, who form moponolies and then screw consumers.
|"The benefits of deregulation are short-to intermediate-term generally for any industry," said James Shaw, a professor of business economics at the University of San Francisco. "A burst of competition and innovation occurs in the short run, and prices fall," he said. "Consolidation of market players then produces price stability through resultant diminished competition". (The Myth of Deregulation's Consumer Benefits by David Lazarus. The Los Angeles Times, 2/14/2013).|
Of course small "L" libertarians such as myself try to sell deregulation as having the opposite effect, but that's a lie to get the ignorant masses to buy into it. For example, I could be honest and admit that there were a lot of banking panics during the timeframe I cite above. Or I could dissemble and characterize a lack of a central bank, banking deregulation and the downturns that resulted as not being a perfect system, but that the resulting downturns were brief and the recoveries robust.
That would be as opposed to the truth, as laid out by ThinkAdvisor, a financial advisory website...
|[During the course of the] 19th century [we saw] recurrent and severe financial crises. The [2nd] central bank's demise [in 1836]... removed a brake on the ability of state-chartered banks to issue paper money (as previously a bank issuing too much or irregular currency might find its paper not accepted by the federal bank). That fueled land speculation [and] the speculative bubble, followed by the hard-money crackdown, brought on the Panic of 1837. Waves of bank failures and bankruptcies began in the West and rolled across the nation. ... Throughout the century, major panics occurred at roughly two-decade intervals. (The Tumultuous 19th Century From the Jan 2010 issue of Research Magazine).|
Anyway, the thing to remember here is that downturns and panics are good. So what if some people (middle class types, mostly) lose their shirts? When that happens that money can be funneled into the hands of the rich, which is exactly what happened following our most recent recession.
So, stability and prosperity for all? I say NO WAY. Instability and prosperity for a few... that's more like it!