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Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and Bank of England Monitoring During the Overend-Gurney Panic of 1866

Author

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  • Marc Flandreau

    (Centre for Finance and Development - GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES)

  • Stefano Ugolini

    () (LEREPS - Laboratoire d'Etude et de Recherche sur l'Economie, les Politiques et les Systèmes Sociaux - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Toulouse - ENSFEA - École Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l'Enseignement Agricole de Toulouse-Auzeville)

Abstract

The National Monetary Commission was deeply concerned with importing best practice. One important focus was the connection between the money market and international trade. It was said that Britain's lead in the market for " acceptances " originating in international trade was the basis of its sterling predominance. In this article, we use a so-far unexplored source to document the portfolio of bills that was brought up to the Bank of England for discount and study the behavior of the Bank of England during the crisis of 1866 (the so-called Overend-Gurney panic) when the Bank began adopting lending of last resort policies (Bignon, Flandreau and Ugolini 2012). We compare 1865 (a " normal " year) to 1866. Important findings include: (a) the statistical predominance of foreign bills in the material brought to the Bank of England; (b) the correlation between the geography of bills and British trade patterns; (c) a marked contrast between normal times lending and crisis lending in that main financial intermediaries and the " shadow banking system " only showed up at the Bank's window during crises; (d) the importance of money market investors (bills brokers) as chief conduit of liquidity provision in crisis; (e) the importance of Bank of England's supervisory policies in ensuring lending-of-last-resort operations without enhancing moral hazard. An implication of our findings is that Bank of England's ability to control moral hazard for financial intermediaries involved in acceptances was another reason for the rise of sterling as an international currency.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2013. "Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and Bank of England Monitoring During the Overend-Gurney Panic of 1866," Post-Print hal-01293916, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01293916
    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139005166.006
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01293916
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marc Flandreau & Clemens Jobst, 2005. "The Ties that Divide: A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System, 1890-1910," Working Papers hal-01065599, HAL.
    2. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide: A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System, 1890–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 977-1007, December.
    3. Giuseppe Tullio & Jürgen Wolters, 2007. "Monetary Policy in Austria–Hungary, 1876–1913: An Econometric Analysis of the Determinants of the Central Bank’s Discount Rate and the Liquidity Ratio," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 521-537, November.
    4. Tetsuji Okazaki, 2006. "Micro-aspects of Monetary Policy in Pre-war Japan: Lender of Last Resort and Selection of Banks," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-398, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide. A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 5129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Charles Goodhart, 1988. "The Evolution of Central Banks," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262570734, February.
    7. Barry Eichengreen & Marc Flandreau, 2010. "The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the rise of the dollar as an international currency, 1914-39," BIS Working Papers 328, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Barry Eichengreen & Marc Flandreau, 2012. "The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Rise of the Dollar as an International Currency, 1914–1939," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 57-87, February.
    9. Stefano Ugolini, 2011. "An ‘Atypical’ Case? The First Emergence of Brussels as an International Financial Centre, 1830-1860," Post-Print hal-01294365, HAL.
    10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/605 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Pamfili Antipa & Vincent Bignon, 2018. "Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 17-36.
    2. Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2014. "The Crisis of 1866," Post-Print hal-01293925, HAL.
    3. Accominotti, Olivier & Ugolini, Stefano, 2019. "International Trade Finance From the Origins to the Present: Market Structures, Regulation, and Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 13661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.

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