Two depressions, one banking collapse: Lessons from Australia
In Australia, the 1890s depression was associated with a banking system collapse, whereas financial problems during the 1930s depression were far less severe. While the behaviour of the financial sector was obviously pro-cyclical during the 1890s episode, there were signs of more prudent behaviour and stronger financial institutions leading up to the 1930s depression. This change was aided by a change in the competitive environment and by the experience of the preceding financial crisis. The lessons from Australia's depression experiences are of relevance to debates about the causes of the current global financial crisis and required regulatory reforms.
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