“Why should we not let people use freely what money they want to use? [They] ought to have the right to decide whether they want to buy or sell for francs, pounds, dollars, D-marks, or ounces of gold. I have no objection to governments issuing money, but…

A couple months ago, in arguing that “The Fed should give everyone a bank account,” journalist Matt Yglesias cited what he took to be an instructive precedent: “Once upon a time, governments didn’t issue paper currency, and instead banknotes were printed privately by banks. But over time,…