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An Examination of Country Member Bank Cash Balances of the 1930s: A Test of Alternative Explanations

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  • Clifford B. Sowell
  • Atul K. Saxena
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    Abstract

    Around March 1933, commercial banks began accumulating unprecedented amounts of cash. Uncertainty over deposits and loans, low interest rates relative to brokerage fees, and costly de novo capital have been used to explain this behavior. This paper employs aggregate call-date data for country member banks in the 12 Federal Reserve districts to formally investigate the role of these factors in the accumulation. The results indicate a minimal, if any, role for these factors. The findings suggest that it was the unintended consequence of unprecedented deposit growth in the face of large scale-related adjustment costs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 66 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 923-941

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    Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:66:4:y:2000:p:923-941

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    Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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    Cited by:
    1. Thomas Mayer & Thomas F. Cargill, 2004. "THE EFFECT OF CHANGES IN RESERVE REQUIREMENTS DURING THE 1930s:," Working Papers 310, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

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