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How Did Pre-Fed Banking Panics End?

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  • Gary Gorton
  • Ellis W. Tallman

Abstract

How did pre-Fed banking crises end? How did depositors’ beliefs change? During the National Banking Era, 1863-1914, banks responded to the severe panics by suspending convertibility, that is, they refused to exchange cash for their liabilities (checking accounts). At the start of the suspension period, the private clearing houses cut off bank-specific information. Member banks were legally united into a single entity by the issuance of emergency loan certificates, a joint liability. A new market for certified checks opened, pricing the risk of clearing house failure. Certified checks traded at a discount to cash (a currency premium) in a market that opened during the suspension period. Confidence was restored when the currency premium reached zero.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Gorton & Ellis W. Tallman, 2016. "How Did Pre-Fed Banking Panics End?," NBER Working Papers 22036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22036
    Note: AP CF DAE EFG ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Bordo, 2017. "An Historical Perspective on the Quest for Financial Stability and the Monetary Policy Regime," Economics Working Papers 17108, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    2. Alvarez, Fernando & Barlevy, Gadi, 2014. "Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion," Working Paper Series WP-2014-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Gary Gorton & Ellis W. Tallman, 2016. "Too Big to Fail before the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 528-532, May.
    4. John Bluedorn & Haelim Park, 2016. "Stopping Contagion with Bailouts: Microevidence from Pennsylvania Bank Networks During the Panic of 1884," Working Papers 16-03, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    5. Charles W. Calomiris & Elliot S.M. Oh, 2018. "Who Owned Citibank? Familiarity Bias and Business Network Influences on Stock Purchases, 1925-1929," NBER Working Papers 24431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:spr:cliomt:v:12:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11698-017-0161-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Anderson, Haelim Park & Bluedorn, John C., 2017. "Stopping contagion with bailouts: Micro-evidence from Pennsylvania bank networks during the panic of 1884," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 139-149.
    8. Gary Gorton & Guillermo Ordoñez, 2016. "Fighting Crises," NBER Working Papers 22787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Ellis W. Tallman & Jon R. Moen, 2018. "The transmission of the financial crisis in 1907: an empirical investigation," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 12(2), pages 277-312, May.
    10. Gary B. Gorton, 2016. "The History and Economics of Safe Assets," NBER Working Papers 22210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Schuermann, Til, 2016. "Stress Testing in Wartime and in Peacetime," Working Papers 17-01, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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