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Conflicts of Interest, Reputation, and the Interwar Debt Crisis: Banksters or Bad Luck?

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  • Flandreau, Marc
  • Gaillard, Norbert
  • Panizza, Ugo

Abstract

This paper builds a new dataset with detailed information on the universe of foreign government bonds issued in New York in the 1920s and uses these data to describe the behavior of the financial intermediaries which operated in the New York market during the period leading to the interwar debt crisis. The paper starts by showing that concerns over reputation played an important role in intermediaries’ underwriting choices. Next, the paper checks whether banks managed to charge abnormal underwriting fees on bonds that would eventually default and finds no evidence of such practice ("banksterism"). The paper concludes by discussing some parallels between the experience of the 1920s and the current debate on the "originate and distribute" model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7705.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7705

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Related research

Keywords: conflicts of interest; debt crises; reputation;

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References

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  1. Flandreau, Marc & Gaillard, Norbert & Packer, Frank, 2009. "Ratings Performance, Regulation and the Great Depression: Lessons from Foreign Government Securities," CEPR Discussion Papers 7328, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Chemmanur, Thomas J & Fulghieri, Paolo, 1994. " Investment Bank Reputation, Information Production, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 57-79, March.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
  4. Flandreau, Marc & Flores, Juan H., 2009. "Bonds and Brands: Foundations of Sovereign Debt Markets, 1820–1830," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 646-684, September.
  5. J. Bradford De Long, 1990. "Did J.P. Morgan's Men Add Value? A Historical Perspective on Financial Capitalism," NBER Working Papers 3426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ramirez, Carlos D, 2002. "Did Banks' Security Affiliates Add Value? Evidence from the Commercial Banking Industry during the 1920s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 393-411, May.
  7. Booth, James R. & Smith, Richard II, 1986. "Capital raising, underwriting and the certification hypothesis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 261-281.
  8. Calomiris,Charles W., 2000. "U.S. Bank Deregulation in Historical Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583626, October.
  9. João A. C. Santos, 1998. "Commercial banks in the securities business: A review," BIS Working Papers 56, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. Marc Flandreau & Juan H. Flores & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto-Parra, 2009. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007," NBER Working Papers 15128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michaely, Roni & Shaw, Wayne H, 1994. "The Pricing of Initial Public Offerings: Tests of Adverse-Selection and Signaling Theories," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 279-319.
  12. Megginson, William L & Weiss, Kathleen A, 1991. " Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 879-903, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marc Flandreau, Juan Flores, Norbert Gaillard, Sebasti‡n Nieto-Parra, 2011. "The Changing Role of Global Financial Brands in the Underwriting of Foreign Government Debt (1815-2010)," IHEID Working Papers 15-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 05 Dec 2011.
  2. Yann Decorzant & Juan Flores, 2012. "Public borrowing in harsh times: The Leagues of Nations loans revisited," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 12091, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  3. Marc Flandreau, 2013. "Collective Action Clauses before they had Airplanes: Bondholder Committees and the London Stock Exchange in the 19th Century (1827-1868)," IHEID Working Papers 01-2013, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

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