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Fetters of Debt, Deposit, or Gold during the Great Depression? The International Propagation of the Banking Crisis of 1931

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  • Gary Richardson
  • Patrick Van Horn

Abstract

A banking crisis began in Austria in May 1931 and intensified in July, when runs struck banks throughout Germany. In September, the crisis compelled Britain to quit the gold standard. Newly discovered data shows that failure rates rose for banks in New York City, at the center of the United States money market, in July and August 1931, before Britain abandoned the gold standard and before financial outflows compelled the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Banks in New York City had large exposures to foreign deposits and German debt. This paper tests to see whether the foreign exposure of money center banks linked the financial crises on the two sides of the Atlantic.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12983.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Publication status: published as Richardson Gary & Van Horn Patrick, 2011. "Fetters of Debt, Deposit, or Gold during the Great Depression? The International Propagation of the Banking Crisis of 1931," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 52(2), pages 29-54, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12983

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  1. Mark Carlson, 2004. "Are Branch Banks Better Survivors? Evidence from the Depression Era," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(1), pages 111-126, January.
  2. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
  3. Joseph R. Mason, 1998. "American banks during the Great Depression: a new research agenda," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 151-152.
  4. James D. Hamilton, 1988. "Role Of The International Gold Standard In Propagating The Great Depression," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 6(2), pages 67-89, 04.
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