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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12717.
Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Note: DAE ME
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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.:
- 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.
- Christina D. Romer, 1993. "The Nation in Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 19-39, Spring.
- 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.
- 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.).
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