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The German Twin Crisis of 1931

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  • SCHNABEL, ISABEL

Abstract

Using information on banks balance sheets, I analyze the causal links between the banking and currency problems in the German crisis of 1931. I find that the crisis had two independent causes: Political shocks triggered a run on the Reichsmark; and the excessive risk-taking by banks that were too big to fail led to a run on banks. Due to the high level of foreign debt in the banking system, the run on the currency and the deposit withdrawals reinforced each other in a vicious circle and resulted in a banking panic and the abandonment of the gold standard.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 822-871

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:03:p:822-871_00

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Cited by:
  1. Nikolaus Wolf, 2008. "Scylla and Charybdis. Explaining Europe’s Exit from Gold, January 1928 – December 1936," CESifo Working Paper Series 2271, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Reint Gropp & Hendrik Hakenes & Isabel Schnabel, 2011. "Competition, Risk-shifting, and Public Bail-out Policies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2084-2120.
  3. Albrecht Ritschl & Tobias Straumann, 2009. "Business cycles and economic policy, 1914-1945: a survey," Economic History Working Papers 22402, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  4. Winkler, Adalbert & Bindseil, Ulrich, 2012. "Dual liquidity crises under alternative monetary frameworks," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62032, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Albrecht Ritschl, 2012. "Reparations, deficits, and debt default: the Great Depression in Germany," Economic History Working Papers 44335, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  6. Albrecht Ritschl & Samad Salferaz, 2010. "Crisis?: What crisis?: currency vs. banking in the financial crisis of 1931," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28726, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Hyun Song, 2005. "Liquidity and Twin Crises," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 34(3), pages 257-277, November.
  8. Anat R. Admati & Peter M. DeMarzo & Martin F. Hellwig & Paul Pfleiderer, 2010. "Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity is Not Expensive," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_42, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  9. Albrecht Ritschl, 2012. "War 2008 das neue 1929? Richtige und falsche Vergleiche zwischen der Großen Depression der 1930er Jahre und der Großen Rezession von 2008," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13, pages 36-57, 05.
  10. Völz, Manja & Wedow, Michael, 2009. "Does banks size distort market prices? Evidence for too-big-to-fail in the CDS market," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2009,06, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. Bridji, Slim, 2013. "The French Great Depression: A business cycle accounting analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 427-445.
  12. Moro, Alessio & Nuño, Galo & Tedde, Pedro, 2013. "A twin crisis with multiple banks of issue: Spain in the 1860s," Working Paper Series 1561, European Central Bank.
  13. Schnabel, Isabel, 2002. "The Great Banks` Depression - Deposit Withdrawals in the German Crisis of 1931," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-11, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  14. Bindseil, Ulrich & Winkler, Adalbert, 2012. "Dual liquidity crises under alternative monetary frameworks: a financial accounts perspective," Working Paper Series 1478, European Central Bank.
  15. Kopf, Christian, 2011. "Restoring financial stability in the euro area," CEPS Papers 4292, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  16. Accominotti, Olivier, 2012. "London Merchant Banks, the Central European Panic, and the Sterling Crisis of 1931," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 1-43, March.

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