Great recession versus great depression: monetary, fiscal and banking policies
Purpose - This paper sets out to explore three areas in which the experience of the great depression might be relevant today: monetary policy, fiscal policy, and the systemic stability of banks. Design/methodology/approach - A critical review of the US data for the 1920s and 1930s is presented and stylised facts for monetary, fiscal and banking policies during the noughties are shown and compared with those of the great depression. Findings - The authors confirm the consensus on monetary policy: deflation and massive bank failures must be avoided. With regard to fiscal policy it is impossible to confirm a widespread opinion according to which fiscal policy did not work because it was not tried. The paper finds that fiscal policy went to the limit of what was possible under the conditions as they existed then. Policy reaction after 1932 was no less bold than that of today if one accounts for sustainability issues. Lastly, the investigation of the US banking system shows a surprising resilience of commercial banks that remained profitable, at least on average, even during the worst years. Originality/value - First, the paper presents a systematic comparison between the great depression and the great recession, highlighting similarities and differences. Second, it suggests a relevant policy implication. Findings on commercial bank sector resilience suggest that at present national authorities have little choice but to make up for the losses on “legacy” assets and wait for banks to earn back their capital. However, to prevent future crises, at least a partial separation of commercial and investment banking seems justified.
Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/jes.htm Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:38:y:2011:i:6:p:673-690. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.