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The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises

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  • Bordo, Michael
  • James, Harold

Abstract

There are some striking similarities between the pre 1914 gold standard and EMU today. Both arrangements are based on fixed exchange rates, monetary and fiscal orthodoxy. Each regime gave easy access by financially underdeveloped peripheral countries to capital from the core countries. But the gold standard was a contingent rule – in the case of an emergency like a major war or a serious financial crisis – a country could temporarily devalue its currency. The EMU has no such safety valve. Capital flows in both regimes fueled asset price booms via the banking system ending in major crises in the peripheral countries. But not having the escape clause has meant that present day Greece and other peripheral European countries have suffered much greater economic harm than did Argentina in the Baring Crisis of 1890.

Suggested Citation

  • Bordo, Michael & James, Harold, 2014. "The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 275-284.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:39:y:2014:i:pb:p:275-284
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2013.08.013
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    2. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2014. "Conflicting incentives for the public to support the EMU," Working Papers 50, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    3. Sergio Cesaratto, 2014. "Balance of payments or monetary sovereignty? In search of the EMU’s original sin – a reply to Lavoie," a/ Working Papers Series 1406, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    4. Steiner, Andreas & Steinkamp, Sven & Westermann, Frank, 2019. "Exit strategies, capital flight and speculative attacks: Europe's version of the trilemma," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 83-96.
    5. Barry Eichengreen & Arnaud J. Mehl & Livia Chițu & Gary Richardson, 2014. "Mutual Assistance between Federal Reserve Banks, 1913-1960 as Prolegomena to the TARGET2 Debate," NBER Working Papers 20267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. George Chouliarakis & Sophia Lazaretou, 2014. "Deja vu? The Greek crisis experience, the 2010s versus the 1930s. Lessons from history," Working Papers 176, Bank of Greece.
    7. Davis, J. Scott & Mack, Adrienne & Phoa, Wesley & Vandenabeele, Anne, 2016. "Credit booms, banking crises, and the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 360-377.
    8. Sergio Cesaratto, 2013. "The implications of TARGET2 in the European balance of payments crisis and beyond," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 359-382.
    9. Stephen F. Quinn & William Roberds, 2017. "An Early Experiment with \"Permazero\"," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    10. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2016. "Co-movements of non-Euro EU currencies with the Euro," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 376-383.
    11. Hau, Harald & Lai, Sandy, 2016. "Asset allocation and monetary policy: Evidence from the eurozone," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 309-329.
    12. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos & Rossi, Pedro, 2014. "Sovereignty, exchange rate and the Euro crisis," Textos para discussão 371, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    13. Gibson, Heather D. & Palivos, Theodore & Tavlas, George S., 2014. "The Crisis in the Euro Area: An Analytic Overview," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 233-239.
    14. Winkler, Adalbert, 2013. "Der lender of last resort vor Gericht," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 206, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    15. Sergio Cesaratto, 2017. "Beyond the traditional monetary circuit: endogenous money, finance and the theory of long-period effective demand," Department of Economics University of Siena 757, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    16. Sergio Cesaratto, 2017. "The Nature of the Eurocrisis. A Reply to Febrero, Uxò and Bermejo," a/ Working Papers Series 1703, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    17. Sabaté, Marcela & Fillat, Carmen & Escario, Regina, 2019. "Budget deficits and money creation: Exploring their relation before Bretton Woods," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 38-56.
    18. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2015. "Conflicting Incentives for Public Support for EMU," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 142-157, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gold Standard; Gold Exchange Standard; Debt Crisis; Euro;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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