Til Debt Do Us Part: The U.S. Capital Market and Foreign Lending, 1920-1955
AbstractThis paper analyzes U.S. experience with foreign lending in the half-century from 1920. A first question raised by this experience is what ignited the process of U.S. foreign lending. I conclude that lending was restrained at the beginning of the period by the debt overhang associated with reparations and by the post World War I disruption of international trade. Intervention by creditor country governments in the form of the Dawes Loan, League of Nations loans to Central Europe and reconstruction of the gold standard system was needed to initiate long-term capital flows. A second question is how to characterize the operation of the U.S. capital market once lending was again underway. I find that while lenders discriminated among potential borrowers and demanded compensation for default risk, they did so insufficiently. Neither an efficient-markets nor a fads-and-fashions model provides an adequate characterization of the data. A third question is whether default in the 1930s made it more difficult for countries to borrow in the 1940s and 1950s. I find no evidence that countries which interrupted debt service in the 1930s found it more difficult to borrow subsequently than did countries which maintained debt service continuously. Rather, default reduced access to private portfolio capital flows for defaulting and nondefaulting countries alike.
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 2394.
Date of creation: Oct 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Developing Country Debt and Economic Performance, Vol. 1: The Internation-al Financial System, edited by Jeffrey D. Sachs, pp. 107-155. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989.
Note: ITI IFM
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
Other versions of this item:
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1987. "Till Debt Do Us Part: The US Capital Market and Foreign Lending, 1920-1955," CEPR Discussion Papers 212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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.:
- Peter H. Lindert & Peter J. Morton, 1989.
"How Sovereign Debt Has Worked,"
in: Developing Country Debt and Economic Performance, Volume 1: The International Financial System, pages 39-106
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Lipsey, 1987.
"Changing Patterns of International Investment In and By the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
2240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Lipsey & Mario Schimberni & Robert V. Lindsay, 1988. "Changing Patterns of International Investment in and by the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The United States in the World Economy, pages 475-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- White, Eugene Nelson, 1986. "Before the Glass-Steagall Act: An analysis of the investment banking activities of national banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 33-55, January.
- Yawitz, Jess B., 1977. "An Analytical Model of Interest Rate Differentials and Different Default Recoveries," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 481-490, September.
- Acharya, Viral V & Rajan, Raghuram G, 2011.
"Sovereign debt, government myopia, and the financial sector,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Viral V. Acharya & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2013. "Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(6), pages 1526-1560.
- Viral V. Acharya & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2011. "Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector," NBER Working Papers 17542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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.