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In the Eye of a Storm: Manhattan's Money Center Banks During the International Financial Crisis of 1931

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  • Gary Richardson
  • Patrick Van Horn

Abstract

In the summer of 1931, a financial crisis began in Austria, spread to Germany, forced Britain to abandon the gold standard, crossed the Atlantic, and afflicted financial institutions in the United States. This article describes how banks in New York City, the central money market of the United States, reacted to this trans-Atlantic trauma. New York’s money-center banks anticipated the onset of a financial crisis, prepared for it by accumulating substantial reserves, and during the European crisis, continued business as usual. New York’s leading bankers deliberately and collectively decided on the business-as-usual policy in order to minimize the impact of the panic in the United States. New York banks’ behavior changed only after the Federal Reserve raised discount rates to stem gold outflows in the fall of 1931.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Richardson & Patrick Van Horn, 2011. "In the Eye of a Storm: Manhattan's Money Center Banks During the International Financial Crisis of 1931," NBER Working Papers 17437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17437
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226519999 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Kris James Mitchener & Gary Richardson, 2016. "Network Contagion and Interbank Amplification during the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 22074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Accominotti, Olivier, 2016. "International Banking and Transmission of the 1931 Financial Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 11651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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