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Suppressing Asset Price Inflation: The Confederate Experience, 1861-1865

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  • Marc D. Weidenmier
  • Richard C.K. Burdekin

Abstract

Confederate monetary reforms encouraged holders of Treasury notes to exchange these notes for bonds by imposing deadlines on their convertibility. We show that Confederate funding acts aimed at precipitating the conversion of currency into bonds did temporarily suppress currency depreciation. These acts also triggered upsurges in commodity prices, however, as note holders rushed to spend the currency before their exchange rights were reduced. Asset price stabilization policies seem to have increased the velocity of circulation and counterproductively channeled inflationary pressures into other areas of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc D. Weidenmier & Richard C.K. Burdekin, 2002. "Suppressing Asset Price Inflation: The Confederate Experience, 1861-1865," NBER Working Papers 9230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9230
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-472, August.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 17-51.
    3. Richard C. K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2001. "Inflation Is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1621-1630, December.
    4. Weidenmier, Marc D., 2000. "The Market for Confederate Cotton Bonds," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 76-97, January.
    5. Marc D. Weidenmier, "undated". "Turning Points during the U.S. Civil War: Views from the Grayback Market," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-24, Claremont Colleges.
    6. Davis, George K. & Pecquet, Gary M., 1990. "Interest Rates in the Civil War South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 133-148, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Weidenmier, 2004. "Gunboats, Reputation, and Sovereign Repayment: Lessons from the Southern Confederacy," NBER Working Papers 10960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Richard C.K.Burdekin & Marc D.Weidenmier, 2002. "Interest-Bearing Currency and Legal Restrictions Theory:Lessons from the Southern Confederacy," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(2), pages 199-209, Fall.
    3. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pecquet, Gary M. & Thies, Clifford F., 2007. "Texas treasury notes and market manipulation, 1837-1842," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 81-99, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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