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The lender of last resort: some historical insights

  • Michael D. Bordo

This paper discusses the role for a lender of last resort (LLR) in preventing banking panics (section I) , then briefly considers classical and more recent concepts of the LLR (section II). Section III examines historical evidence for the U.S. and other countries on the incidence of banking panics and LLR actions, and the record of alternative LLR arrangements in the U.S., Scotland and Canada, as well as the historical record on ailouts. Section IV offers some lessons from history.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Proceedings with number 234.

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Length: 177-197
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (1989 : 25th)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:234
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  1. Oskar Morgenstern, 1959. "International Financial Transactions and Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number morg59-1, June.
  2. Goodhart, C A E, 1987. "Why Do Banks Need a Central Bank?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 75-89, March.
  3. Timberlake, Richard H, Jr, 1984. "The Central Banking Role of Clearinghouse Associations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, February.
  4. Weber, Ernst Juerg, 1988. "Currency Competition in Switzerland, 1826-1850," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 459-78.
  5. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1988. "Financial deregulation, monetary policy, and central banking," Working Paper 88-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Iftekhar Hasan & Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr., 1989. "Contagious bank runs in the free banking period," Working Papers 1989-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Michael D. Bordo, 1981. "The classical gold standard: some lessons for today," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 2-17.
  8. Cowen, Tyler & Kroszner, Randall, 1989. "Scottish Banking before 1845: A Model for Laissez-Faire?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 221-31, May.
  9. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1985. "Inherent instability in banking: the free banking experience," Working Papers 275, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Charles W. Calomiris, 1989. "Deposit insurance: lessons from the record," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue May, pages 10-30.
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