Free Book: Mystery of Banking
Talk about great timing. Rothbard's extraordinary book unravels the mystery of banking: what is legitimate enterprise and what is a government-backed shell game that can't last. His explanation is clear enough for anyone to follow and yet precise and rigorous enough to be the best textbook for college classes on the topic. This is because its expositional clarity--in its history and theory--is essentially unrivaled.
Most notably, he uses the T-account method of explaining the relationship between deposits and loans, showing the inherent instability of fractional-reserve banking and how it sets the stage for centralization, inflation, and the boom-bust cycle.
But there is more. This book provides an explanation of money's origins and its meaning in the free market. The abstract theory is here, but always with real application to history and modern banking practice. Never does a paragraph go by without an example drawn from his massive knowledge of the subject.
The book can be freely downloaded from mises.org Mystery of Banking.