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Crises Now and Then: What Lessons from the Last Era of Financial Globalization

  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Michael D. Bordo

We consider the operation of international capital markets in two periods of globalization, before 1914 and after 1971, with a focus on the crisis problem. We explore the idea that the incidence of crises in these two periods reflects how capital flows were embedded in the larger economic system. Other authors have made similar connections, suggesting that the international monetary framework was responsible for the relatively short-lived and mild nature of pre-World War I financial crises. However, we show that currency crises in fact were of longer duration before 1914. Only for banking and twin crises is there evidence that recovery was faster then than now. This leads us to a somewhat different view of the role of the monetary regime in the propagation of financial crises. A key difference between then and now, we suggest, is that prior to 1914 banking crises were less prone to undermine confidence in the currency, and to thereby compound financial problems, in the countries that were at the core of the international monetary system.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8716.

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Date of creation: Jan 2002
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Publication status: published as Mizen, Paul (ed.) Monetary History, Exchange Rates and Financial Markets: Essays in Honor of Charles Goodhart, Vol 2. London: Edward Elgar Publisher, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8716
Note: DAE IFM ME
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  9. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 2001. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 2783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Barry Eichengreen & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Staying Afloat When the Wind Shifts: External Factors and Emerging-Market Banking Crises," NBER Working Papers 6370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Steve H. Hanke, 1998. "How to Establish Monetary Stability in Asia," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 17(3), pages 295-301, Winter.
  17. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
  18. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America," MPRA Paper 13843, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  21. Michael Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1999. "Is our Current International Economic Environment Unusually Crisis Prone?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: David Gruen & Luke Gower (ed.), Capital Flows and the International Financial System Reserve Bank of Australia.
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