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The Great Depression analogy


  • Bordo, Michael
  • James, Harold


This paper examines three areas in which analogies have been made between the interwar depression and the financial crisis of 2007 which reached a dramatic climax in September 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the rescue of AIG: they can be labeled macro-economic, micro-economic, and geo-political. First, the paper considers the story of monetary policy failures; second, there follows an examination of the micro-economic issues concerned with bank regulation and the reorganization of banking following the failure of one or more major financial institutions and the threat of systemic collapse; third, the paper turns to the issue of global imbalances and asks whether there are parallels that might be found in this domain too between the 1930s and the events of today.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bordo, Michael & James, Harold, 2010. "The Great Depression analogy," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 127-140, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:17:y:2010:i:02:p:127-140_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary policy in deflation: the liquidity trap in history and practice," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 101-124, March.
    2. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
    3. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Benjamin Pugsley, 2006. "The Mistake of 1937: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 151-190, December.
    4. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
    5. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Martínez-Ruiz & María A. Pons, 2014. "Las crisis financieras en perspectiva histórica: paralelismos entre el pasado y el presente," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 10(02), pages 77-80.
    2. Bee, Marco & Riccaboni, Massimo & Trapin, Luca, 2017. "An extreme value analysis of the last century crises across industries in the U.S. economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 65-78.
    3. Richhild Moessner & William A. Allen, 2011. "Las crisis bancarias y el sistema monetario internacional en la Gran Depresión y en la actualidad," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 13(25), pages 43-87, July-Dece.
    4. Klein, Alexander & Otsuy, Keisuke, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 147, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Alex Klein & Keisuke Otsu, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," Studies in Economics 1317, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Christian Alexander Belabed, 2015. "Income Distribution and the Great Depression," IMK Working Paper 153-2015, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    7. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Morana, Claudio, 2012. "The Great Recession: US dynamics and spillovers to the world economy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13.
    8. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, 2016. "Banking Union in Historical Perspective: The Initiative of the European Commission in the 1960s–1970s," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 913-927, July.
    9. Samman, Amin, 2011. "History in finance and fiction in history: The crisis of 2008 and the return of the past," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 12(3), pages 26-34.
    10. Johannes Lindvall, 2013. "Economic crises as political opportunities," Chapters,in: Before and Beyond the Global Economic Crisis, chapter 7, pages 132-150 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Ana María Cerro & Osvaldo Meloni, 2014. "Making explosive cocktails: Recipes and costs of 20 Argentine crises from 1865 to 2004," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 10(02), pages 104-114.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-


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