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An "Art", not a "Science"? Central Bank Management in Portugal under the Gold Standard, 1854-1891

Jaime Reis
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JEL Code 
E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
E43 - Determination of Interest Rates; Term Structure of Interest Rates
E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
As long as Portugal was on the gold standard, the Bank of Portugal, sought to stabilize the currency at the exchange rate to which the country was committed. Because it was subject to political and other constraints, the Bank carried out discount rate interventions excessively sparingly, although in accordance with what could be termed the contemporary ‘science’ of central banking. Consequently, it had to intervene constantly in the currency markets, usually in covert fashion, repeatedly infringing the gold standard’s ‘rules of the game’, in order to conciliate the needs of convertibility with a frequently unorthodox stance towards the gold standard.
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