(baptized April 21, 1671, Edinburgh, Scot.died March 21, 1729, Venice) Scottish monetary reformer. In 1705 he published the banking reform plan Money and Trade Considered, in which, unlike other mercantilists, he proposed a central bank as an agency for manufacturing money, as banknotes rather than as gold and silver. France agreed to try his plan in 1716, and he founded the Banque Générale, which was authorized to issue notes. He soon combined it with a company empowered to develop France's North American territories, particularly the lower Mississippi valley. His plan foundered; held responsible for the Mississippi Bubble speculative disaster, he fled to France and died in poverty in Venice.
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