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Responding to a shadow banking crisis: the lessons of 1763

  • Stephen Quinn
  • William Roberds

In August 1763, northern Europe experienced a financial crisis with numerous parallels to the 2008 Lehman Brothers episode. The 1763 crisis was sparked by the failure of a major provider of acceptance loans, a form of securitized credit resembling modern asset-backed commercial paper. The central bank at the hub of the crisis, the Bank of Amsterdam, responded by broadening the range of acceptable collateral for its repo transactions. Analysis of archival data shows that this emergency source of liquidity helped to contain the effects of the crisis, by preventing the collapse of at least two other major securitizers. While the underlying themes seem to have changed little in 250 years, the modest scope of the 1763 liquidity intervention, together with the lightly regulated nature of the eighteenth century financial landscape, provide some informative contrasts with events of late 2008.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2012-08.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2012-08
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  1. Isabel Schnabel & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Liquidity and Contagion: The Crisis of 1763," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 929-968, December.
  2. Michael J. Fleming & Warren B. Hrung & Frank M. Keane, 2010. "Repo Market Effects of the Term Securities Lending Facility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 591-96, May.
  3. Flandreau, Marc & Ugolini, Stefano, 2011. "Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and the Bank of England during the Overend, Gurney Panic of 1866," CEPR Discussion Papers 8362, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2013. "Competing Bimetallic Ratios: Amsterdam, London and Bullion Arbitrage in the Mid-18th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 9300, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. de Vries,Jan & van der Woude,Ad, 1997. "The First Modern Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521578257.
  7. Ferderer, J. Peter, 2003. "Institutional Innovation and the Creation of Liquid Financial Markets: The Case of Bankers' Acceptances, 1914 1934," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 666-694, September.
  8. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2007. "Assessing financial contagion in the interbank market: Maximum entropy versus observed interbank lending patterns," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 641, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Quinn, Stephen & Roberds, William, 2014. "How Amsterdam got fiat money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 1-12.
  10. de Vries,Jan & van der Woude,Ad, 1997. "The First Modern Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521570619.
  11. Morten L. Bech & Bart Hobijn, 2006. "Technology diffusion within central banking: the case of real-time gross settlement," Staff Reports 260, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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