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Not All Financial Crises Are Alike!

Author

Listed:
  • Robert A. Eisenbeis

    (Cumberland Advisors)

  • George G. Kaufman

    (Loyola University Chicago)

Abstract

The United States has experienced many financial crises, but the Great Depression, the prolonged thrift crisis of the 1980s, and the most recent Great Recession stand out. In this paper, the focus is on the differences the three crises exhibited in terms of the economic environment leading up to each crisis, the effects on financial institutions and financial markets, and the policy responses and how those responses evolved. The post-World War I macro environment leading up to the Great Depression was radically different than either the inflation environment of the 1970s and early 1980s or the housing collapse and role that subprime lending played in the Great Recession. Additionally, the financial institution failure experience was different in all three crises, as were the regulatory and legislative responses that followed. Perhaps most striking are two important differences. In the Great Depression, many very small rural banks failed. In the 1980s, the first round of failures hit mainly thrifts followed by largely smaller regional and community banks. In the Great Recession, the nation’s largest institutions were the main ones affected. Second, the runs on the institutions were also significantly different.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Eisenbeis & George G. Kaufman, 2016. "Not All Financial Crises Are Alike!," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(1), pages 1-31, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:44:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s11293-016-9483-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-016-9483-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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