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Arresting Banking Panics: Federal Reserve Liquidity Provision and the Forgotten Panic of 1929

Author

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  • Mark Carlson
  • Kris James Mitchener
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

Scholars differ on whether central bank intervention mitigates banking panics. In April 1929, a fruit fly infestation in Florida forced the U.S. government to quarantine fruit shipments from the state and destroy infested groves. In July, depositors panicked in Tampa and surrounding cities. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rushed currency to member banks beset by runs. We show that this intervention arrested the panic and estimate that bank failures would have been twice as high without the Federal Reserve's intervention. Our results suggest that similar interventions may have reduced bank failures during the Great Depression.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Carlson & Kris James Mitchener & Gary Richardson, 2011. "Arresting Banking Panics: Federal Reserve Liquidity Provision and the Forgotten Panic of 1929," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 889-924.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/662961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226519999 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2009. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics during the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Federal Reserve District Border, 1929-1933," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1031-1073, December.
    3. Wicker,Elmus, 1996. "The Banking Panics of the Great Depression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521562614, April.
    4. Wood,John H., 2005. "A History of Central Banking in Great Britain and the United States," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521850131, April.
    5. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, April.
    6. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
    7. Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2010. "Amplification Mechanisms in Liquidity Crises," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-30, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jalil, Andrew J. & Rua, Gisela, 2016. "Inflation expectations and recovery in spring 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 26-50.
    2. Jalil, Andrew & Rua, Gisela, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Recovery from the Depression in 1933: Evidence from the Narrative Record," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Mark A. Carlson & David C. Wheelock, 2012. "The lender of last resort: lessons from the Fed’s first 100 years," Working Papers 2012-056, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Carlson, Mark A. & Wheelock, David C., 2016. "Did the Founding of the Federal Reserve Affect the Vulnerability of the Interbank System to Congation Risk?," Working Papers 2016-12, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 06 Oct 2017.
    5. Davison, Lee K. & Ramirez, Carlos D., 2014. "Local banking panics of the 1920s: Identification and determinants," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 164-177.
    6. Carlson, Mark A. & Wheelock, David C., 2016. "Did the Founding of the Federal Reserve Affect the Vulnerability of the Interbank System to Systemic Risk?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-059, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. repec:eee:macchp:v2-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mark Paddrik & Jessie Jiaxu Wang, 2016. "Bank Networks and Systemic Risk: Evidence from the National Banking Acts," Working Papers 16-13, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    9. Charles W. Calomiris & Matthew Jaremski & Haelim Park & Gary Richardson, 2015. "Liquidity Risk, Bank Networks, and the Value of Joining the Federal Reserve System," NBER Working Papers 21684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kris James Mitchener & Gary Richardson, 2013. "Shadowy Banks and Financial Contagion during the Great Depression: A Retrospective on Friedman and Schwartz," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 73-78, May.
    11. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner, 2016. "Fiscal and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 22059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Kupiec, Paul H. & Ramirez, Carlos D., 2013. "Bank failures and the cost of systemic risk: Evidence from 1900 to 1930," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-307.

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