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Did the Founding of the Federal Reserve Affect the Vulnerability of the Interbank System to Contagion Risk?

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  • MARK CARLSON
  • DAVID C. WHEELOCK

Abstract

The Federal Reserve System was established to supplant the private interbank system, which was widely seen as a source of instability. We examine how the Fed's presence affected the interbank system's resilience to solvency and liquidity shocks and whether those shocks might have been contagious. The interbank system became more resilient to solvency shocks but less resilient to liquidity shocks as banks sharply reduced their liquid assets after the Fed's founding. The industry's response illustrates how the introduction of a lender of last resort can alter private behavior in ways that increase the likelihood that the lender will be needed.

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  • Mark Carlson & David C. Wheelock, 2018. "Did the Founding of the Federal Reserve Affect the Vulnerability of the Interbank System to Contagion Risk?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(8), pages 1711-1750, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:50:y:2018:i:8:p:1711-1750
    DOI: 10.1111/jmcb.12520
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    4. Charles W. Calomiris & Matthew Jaremski & David C. Wheelock, 2019. "Interbank Connections, Contagion and Bank Distress in the Great Depression," Working Papers 2019-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Matthew Jaremski & David C. Wheelock, 2020. "Banking on the Boom, Tripped by the Bust: Banks and the World War I Agricultural Price Shock," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(7), pages 1719-1754, October.
    6. Monnet, Eric & Velde, François R., 2020. "Money, Banking, and Old-School Historical Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 15348, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Richard Senner & Didier Sornette, 2019. "The Holy Grail of Crypto Currencies: Ready to Replace Fiat Money?," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 966-1000, October.
    8. Yener Altunbaş & Salvatore Polizzi & Enzo Scannella & John Thornton, 2022. "European Banking Union and bank risk disclosure: the effects of the Single Supervisory Mechanism," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 649-683, February.
    9. Jaremski, Matthew & Mathy, Gabrial, 2017. "Looking Back On the Age of Checking in America, 1800-1960," MPRA Paper 78083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Mark A. Carlson & David C. Wheelock, 2018. "Furnishing an “Elastic Currency”: The Founding of the Fed and the Liquidity of the U.S. Banking System," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 100(1), pages 17-44.
    11. Anbil, Sriya & Vossmeyer, Angela, 2021. "Liquidity from two lending facilities," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 48(C).
    12. Aldunate, Felipe & Jenter, Dirk & Korteweg, Arthur & Koudijs, Peter, 2021. "Shareholder Liability and Bank Failure," CEPR Discussion Papers 16309, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Sanjiv R. Das & Kris James Mitchener & Angela Vossmeyer, 2018. "Bank Regulation, Network Topology, and Systemic Risk: Evidence from the Great Depression," CESifo Working Paper Series 7425, CESifo.
    14. Mark A. Carlson & Burcu Duygan-Bump, 2018. "“Unconventional” Monetary Policy as Conventional Monetary Policy : A Perspective from the U.S. in the 1920s," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-019, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Das, Sanjiv & Mitchener, Kris James & Vossmeyer, Angela, 2018. "Systemic Risk and the Great Depression," CEPR Discussion Papers 13416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    17. Tabak, Benjamin Miranda & Silva, Thiago Christiano & Fiche, Marcelo Estrela & Braz, Tércio, 2021. "Citation likelihood analysis of the interbank financial networks literature: A machine learning and bibliometric approach," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 562(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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