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The Lender of Last Resort: Some Historical Insights

  • Michael D. Bordo

This paper discusses the role for a lender of last resort (LLR) in preventing banking panics (section I) , then briefly considers classical and more recent concepts of the LLR (section II). Section III examines historical evidence for the U.S. and other countries on the incidence of banking panics and LLR actions, and the record of alternative LLR arrangements in the U.S., Scotland and Canada, as well as the historical record on ailouts. Section IV offers some lessons from history.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3011.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3011.

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Date of creation: Jun 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "The Lender of Last Resort: Alternative Views and Historical Experience." Economic Review (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond), Vol. 76/1, pp. 18-29, (January/February 1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3011
Note: ME
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  1. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1988. "Financial deregulation, monetary policy, and central banking," Working Paper 88-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  2. Cowen, Tyler & Kroszner, Randall, 1989. "Scottish Banking before 1845: A Model for Laissez-Faire?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 221-31, May.
  3. Hasan, I. & Dwyer, Jr.G.P., 1988. "Contagious Bank Runs In The Free Banking Period," Papers 22, Houston - Department of Economics.
  4. Oskar Morgenstern, 1959. "International Financial Transactions and Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number morg59-1, June.
  5. Timberlake, Richard H, Jr, 1984. "The Central Banking Role of Clearinghouse Associations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, February.
  6. Michael D. Bordo, 1981. "The classical gold standard: some lessons for today," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 2-17.
  7. Charles W. Calomiris, 1989. "Deposit insurance: lessons from the record," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue May, pages 10-30.
  8. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1985. "Inherent instability in banking: the free banking experience," Working Papers 275, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Weber, Ernst Juerg, 1988. "Currency Competition in Switzerland, 1826-1850," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 459-78.
  10. Goodhart, C A E, 1987. "Why Do Banks Need a Central Bank?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 75-89, March.
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