Wildcat Banking


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Wildcat Banking

A period in the United States between 1816 and 1863 in which there was no federal regulation of banks. Currency was issued by private banks, which were only regulated by the individual states. These currencies were often backed by the debt the banks held and were often unstable, which frequently caused the currencies to become worthless. See also: National Bank Act of 1863.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the law seemed to increase the margin of security on non-Illinois bonds, it also opened the door to wildcat banking opportunities" (see Economopoulos, "Illinois Free Banking Experience," 253-54).