The Lessons from the Banking Panics in the United States in the 1930s for the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008
In this paper we revisit the debate over the role of the banking panics in 1930-33 in precipitating the Great Contraction. The issue hinges over whether the panics were illiquidity shocks and hence in support of Friedman and Schwartz (1963) greatly exacerbated the recession which had begun in 1929, or whether they largely reflected insolvency in response to the recession caused by other forces. Based on a VAR and new data on the sources of bank failures in the 1930s from Richardson (2007), we find that illiquidity shocks played a key role in explaining the bank failures during the Friedman and Schwartz banking panic windows. In the recent crisis the Federal Reserve learned the Friedman and Schwartz lesson from the banking panics of the 1930s of conducting expansionary open market policy to meet demands for liquidity. Unlike the 1930s the deepest problem of the recent crisis was not illiquidity but insolvency and especially the fear of insolvency of counterparties.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Simon Gilchrist & Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1994.
"The financial accelerator and the flight to quality,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
94-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
- Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," NBER Working Papers 4789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," Working Papers 94-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Mark A. Carlson, 2008. "Alternatives for distressed banks and the panics of the Great Depression," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- David C. Wheelock, 1995. "Regulation, market structure and the bank failures of the Great Depression," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 27-38.
- Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2006. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics During the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Federal Reserve District Border in Mississippi, 1929 to 1933," NBER Working Papers 12591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Carlson & Kris James Mitchener, 2009.
"Branch Banking as a Device for Discipline: Competition and Bank Survivorship during the Great Depression,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 165-210, 04.
- Mark Carlson & Kris James Mitchener, 2007. "Branch Banking as a Device for Discipline: Competition and Bank Survivorship During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 12938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- White, Eugene Nelson, 1984. "A Reinterpretation of the Banking Crisis of 1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 119-138, March.
- Gary B. Gorton, 2010. "Questions and Answers about the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tallman, Ellis W & Wicker, Elmus R., 2009.
"Banking and Financial Crises in United States History: What Guidance can History Offer Policymakers?,"
21839, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ellis W. Tallman & Elmus R. Wicker, 2010. "Banking and financial crises in United States history: what guidance can history offer policymakers?," Working Paper 1009, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Gary Richardson, 2006. "Correspondent Clearing and the Banking Panics of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 12716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richardson, Gary, 2007. "Categories and causes of bank distress during the great depression, 1929-1933: The illiquidity versus insolvency debate revisited," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 588-607, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16365. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.