Bank Distress during the Great Depression: The Illiquidity-Insolvency Debate Revisited
AbstractDuring the contraction from 1929 through 1933, the Federal Reserve System tracked changes in the status of all banks operating in the United States and determined the cause of each bank suspension. This essay analyzes chronological patterns in aggregate series constructed from that data. The analysis demonstrates both illiquidity and insolvency were substantial sources of bank distress. Periods of heightened distress were correlated with periods of increased illiquidity. Contagion via correspondent networks and bank runs propagated the initial banking panics. As the depression deepened and asset values declined, insolvency loomed as the principal threat to depository institutions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12717.
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Richardson, Gary. “Bank Distress during the Great Depression: The Illiquidity-Insolvency Debate Revisited." Explorations in Economic History 44, 4 (October 2007):586-607.
Note: DAE ME
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
- E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
- E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
- N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
- N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-12-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2006-12-16 (Banking)
- NEP-HIS-2006-12-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2006-12-16 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lucia, Joseph L., 1985. "The failure of the bank of United States: A reappraisal," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 402-416, October.
- Kris James Mitchener, 2004. "Bank Supervision, Regulation, and Instability During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 10475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "Monetary and other explanations of the start of the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 455-471, November.
- Christina D. Romer, 1993. "The Nation in Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 19-39, Spring.
- Richardson, Gary, 2006. "Records of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Record Group 82 at the National Archives of the United States," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 123-134, April.
- Mark Carlson, 2008. "Alternatives for distressed banks and the panics of the Great Depression," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.