IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cte/whrepe/wp12-07.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public borrowing in harsh times : the League of Nations Loans revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Flores, Juan-Huitzi
  • Decorzant, Yann

Abstract

This paper reassesses the importance of the League of Nations loans of the 1920s. These long-term loans were an essential part of the League’s strategy to restore the productive basis of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Whereas the literature is not conclusive as to the final result of this experience, we argue that the League Loans were successful because they accomplished the task for which they were conceived—namely, to allow countries in financial distress to access capital markets. This success rested on the sustained efforts of the League of Nations to gather support from creditor countries’ governments and financial intermediaries, as well as its efforts to develop plans for economic reform for borrowing countries. We provide quantitative and qualitative evidence to show that the League provided market access in a difficult and hostile environment, and did so by building its own reputation as an actor that provided a credible commitment to economic and institutional reforms. Through the success of the placement of the initial issues, the League became capable of influencing borrowing costs, even if they continued to be predominately determined by the secondary market and remained high as a result of the risk involved. Much of the confusion in the literature is explained by the fact that the League lacked its own capital, which impeded its ability to act as a lender of last resort once the great depression hit Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Flores, Juan-Huitzi & Decorzant, Yann, 2012. "Public borrowing in harsh times : the League of Nations Loans revisited," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-07, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-07
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://e-archivo.uc3m.es/bitstream/handle/10016/15594/wp12-07.pdf?sequence=1
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1993. "A Financial History of Western Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195077384.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand & Dominique Torre, 2014. "Pierre Quesnay (1895-1937) from the League of Nations to the Franc Poincaré: Financial Discipline and Monetary Pragmatism," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-43, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc & Mehl, Arnaud & Chitu, Livia, 2017. "International Currencies Past, Present, and Future: Two Views from Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190659455.
    3. Matthias Morys, 2016. "Any lessons for today? Exchange-rate stabilisation in Greece and South-East Europe between economic and political objectives and fiscal reality, 1841-1939," Working Papers 16017, Economic History Society.
    4. Matthias Morys, 2016. "Financial supervision to fight fiscal dominance? The gold standard in Greece and South-East Europe between economic and political objectives and fiscal reality, 1841-1939," Discussion Papers 16/05, Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital markets;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-07. 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: (Ana Poveda). General contact details of provider: http://portal.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/instituto_figuerola .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.