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New perspectives on the 1931 banking crisis in Germany and Central Europe


  • Christopher Kopper


Until today, most research on the Great Depression has focused on the failures of monetary and currency policies. A new look at the Great Depression challenges the dominant research opinion that the credit contraction was the main cause for the aggravated depression. The big German banks did not reduce the amount of credit and defaulted because of their high write-offs on big loans. The write-offs occurred as a consequence of the insufficient monitoring of debtors. The relation between the banks and their debtors was highly asymmetric and was characterised by the opportunistic behaviour of debtors.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Kopper, 2011. "New perspectives on the 1931 banking crisis in Germany and Central Europe," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(2), pages 216-229.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:53:y:2011:i:2:p:216-229
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.555107

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