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The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Harold James

Abstract

There are some striking similarities between the pre 1914 gold standard and EMU today. Both arrangements are based on fixed exchange rates, monetary and fiscal orthodoxy. Each regime gave easy access by financially underdeveloped peripheral countries to capital from the core countries. But the gold standard was a contingent rule--in the case of an emergency like a major war or a serious financial crisis --a country could temporarily devalue its currency. The EMU has no such safety valve. Capital flows in both regimes fueled asset price booms via the banking system ending in major crises in the peripheral countries. But not having the escape clause has meant that present day Greece and other peripheral European countries have suffered much greater economic harm than did Argentina in the Baring Crisis of 1890.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Bordo & Harold James, 2013. "The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 19112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19112 Note: DAE ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Mehl, Arnaud & Chitu, Livia & Richardson, Gary, 2015. "Mutual Assistance between Federal Reserve Banks: 1913–1960 as Prolegomena to the TARGET2 Debate," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(03), pages 621-659, September.
    2. George Chouliarakis & Sophia Lazaretou, 2014. "Deja vu? The Greek crisis experience, the 2010s versus the 1930s. Lessons from history," Working Papers 176, Bank of Greece.
    3. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser & Rossi, Pedro, 2014. "Sovereignty, exchange rate and the Euro crisis," Textos para discussão 371, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    4. Hau, Harald & Lai, Sandy, 2016. "Asset allocation and monetary policy: Evidence from the eurozone," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 309-329.
    5. Winkler, Adalbert, 2013. "Der lender of last resort vor Gericht," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 206, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Sergio Cesaratto, 2017. "The nature of the eurocrisis. A reply to Febrero, Uxò and Bermejo," Department of Economics University of Siena 752, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    7. Sergio Cesaratto, 2013. "The implications of TARGET2 in the European balance of payments crisis and beyond," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 359-382.
    8. Sergio Cesaratto, 2017. "Beyond the traditional monetary circuit: endogenous money, finance and the theory of long-period effective demand," Department of Economics University of Siena 757, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations

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