The Evolution of Central Banks employs a wide range of historical evidence and reassesses current monetary analysis to argue that the development of non-profit-maximizing and noncompetitive central banks to supervise and regulate the commercial banking system fulfils a necessary and natural function. Goodhart surveys the case for free banking, examines the key role of the clearing house in the evolution of the central bank, and investigates bank expansion and fluctuation in the context of the clearing house mechanism. He concludes that it is the noncompetitive aspect of the central bank that is crucial to the performance of its role. Goodhart addresses the questions of deposit insurance and takes up the "club theory" approach to the central bank. Included in the historical study of their origins are 8 European central banks, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Board of the United States. Charles Goodhart was appointed to the newly established Norman Sosnow Chair of Banking and Finance at the London School of Economics in 1985. For the previous 17 years he served as a monetary economist at the Bank of England, becoming a Chief Adviser in 1980.