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Historical reflections on the causes of financial crises: Official investigations, past and present, 1873–2011

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  • Carlos Marichal

    (Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de México, México, D. F., Mexico)

Abstract

In the present essay we review a set of enquiries and reports that were realized and published as a result of the major financial crises of the past and of the contemporary era. Generally these documents not only address the issue of the causes of collapse of bank and capital markets but also shed light on regulations proposed at different points in time to improve financial stability. We begin with reference to extensive hearings published by the British Parliament following what may be termed the first global financial crisis in 1873 and, then, proceed to a discussion of official reports on the crises of 1907, 1929 and above all that of 2008, which has produced the greatest outpouring of these types of publications. It is our hypothesis that one important avenue for a historical understanding of the great financial debacles of the past consists in a careful evaluation of official literature and documents that can complement the theoretical approaches of economists in search of explanations for these events. KEY Classification-JEL: N20

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Marichal, 2014. "Historical reflections on the causes of financial crises: Official investigations, past and present, 1873–2011," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 10(02), pages 81-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:10:y:2014:i:02:p:81-91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Flores Zendejas, Juan, 2015. "Capital Markets and Sovereign Defaults: A Historical Perspective," Working Papers unige:73325, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial crises. Collapse of banks and capital markets. Official reports. Financial stability;

    JEL classification:

    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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