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The Crash of 1882 and the Bailout of the Paris Bourse

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  • Eugene N. White

    () (Department of Economics, Rutgers University and NBER, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA)

Abstract

The crash of the French stock market in 1882 presented the Paris Bourse with its worst crisis of the nineteenth century. Its structure was similar in key respects to today’s futures markets, with a dominant forward market leading the Bourse to adopt a common fund to guarantee transactions and liquidity. While this mutualization of risk protects clients and brokers from idiosyncratic shocks, it is generally assumed that it also provides considerable protection against systemic shocks, as no twentieth century exchange has been forced to shut down. Using new archival data, this paper shows how a stock market crash overwhelmed the Bourse’s common fund. Only an emergency loan from the Bank of France, intermediated by the largest banks, prevented a closure of the Bourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugene N. White, 2007. "The Crash of 1882 and the Bailout of the Paris Bourse," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 1(2), pages 115-144, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:115-144
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Isabel Schnabel, 2014. "Bubbles and Central Banks: Historical Perspectives," Working Papers 1411, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 31 Oct 2014.
    2. G. Bazot & M. D. Bordo & E. Monnet, 2014. "The Price of Stability. The balance sheet policy of the Banque de France and the Gold Standard (1880-1914)," Working papers 510, Banque de France.
    3. Hautcoeur, Pierre-Cyrille & Riva, Angelo & White, Eugene N., 2014. "Floating a “lifeboat”: The Banque de France and the crisis of 1889," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 104-119.
    4. Frederic S. Mishkin & Eugene N. White, 2014. "Unprecedented Actions: The Federal Reserve’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 20737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Calomiris, Charles W. & Flandreau, Marc & Laeven, Luc, 2016. "Political foundations of the lender of last resort: A global historical narrative," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 48-65.
    6. Raphaël Hekimian, 2017. "The French banking sector during the interwar: What lessons can be drawn from the stock market?," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-3, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    7. Riva, Angelo & White, Eugene N., 2011. "Danger on the exchange: How counterparty risk was managed on the Paris exchange in the nineteenth century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 478-493.
    8. Bazot, Guillaume & Bordo, Michael D. & Monnet, Eric, 2016. "International shocks and the balance sheet of the Bank of France under the classical gold standard," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 87-107.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stock market crash; Microstructure; Mutualization of risk; Bailout;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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