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Currency Boards and Chinese Banking Development in pre-World War II Southeast Asia: Malaya and the Philippines

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  • W. G. Huff

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between currency boards and the development of local Chinese deposit banking in pre-World War II Malaya and the Philippines. While in both countries Chinese banks filled an important gap in financial intermediation, the currency board system - an especially strict version of the classical gold standard - virtually ensured that these institutions remained small. Moreover, in the 1930s slump the currency board system's preclusion of a central bank and requirement to pay depositors in 100 per cent metropolitan currency, together with the volatility of highly staple-dependent export economies, pushed Chinese banks to the verge of bankruptcy or beyond. Examination of the 1930s crisis in Southeast Asia and role of banks in it reveals more differences from than parallels with 1990s experience.

Suggested Citation

  • W. G. Huff, 2003. "Currency Boards and Chinese Banking Development in pre-World War II Southeast Asia: Malaya and the Philippines," Working Papers 2003_2, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2003_2
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    1. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
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    3. Goodhart, Charles A E, 1994. "What Should Central Banks Do? What Should Be Their Macroeconomic Objectives and Operations?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1424-1436, November.
    4. Lamoreaux,Naomi R., 1994. "Insider Lending," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521460965, April.
    5. John Williamson, 1995. "What Role of Currency Boards?," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa40, October.
    6. Drake, P J, 1972. "Natural Resources versus Foreign Borrowing in Economic Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 951-962, September.
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