Internal Versus External Convertibility and Developing-Country Financial Crises: Lessons from the Argentine Bank Bailout of the 1930s
Argentina's money and banking system was hit hard by the Great Depression. The banking sector was awash with bad assets that built up in the 1920s. Gold convertibility was suspended in December 1929, even before the crisis seriously damaged the core economies. Commonly, these events are seen as being driven by external real shocks associated with the World Depression, espite the puzzle of the timing. We argue for an alternative, or complementary, explanation of the crisis that focuses on the inside-outside money relationship in a system of fractional-reserve banking and gold-standard rules. This internal explanation for the crisis involves no timing puzzle. The tension between internal and external convertibility can be felt when banks fall into bad times, and an internal drain can feed an external drain. Such was the case after financial fragility appeared in the 1914-27 suspension. Resumption in 1928 was probably unsustainable due to the problems of the financial system, and a dynamic model illustrates the point well. The resolution of the crisis required lender-of-last-resort actions by the state, discharged at first by the state bank issuing rediscounts to private banks. When the state bank became insolvent, the currency board started bailing out the system using high-powered money. Thus came about the demise of the currency board and the creation of a central bank in 1935, an institution that had no pretense of a nominal-anchor commitment device and no ceiling on lender-of-last-resort actions-innovations with painful long-run consequences for inflation performance and financial-sector health. As one of its first substantive actions, the central bank engineered a bailout of the banking system at a massive social cost. The parallels with recent developing-country crises are remarkable, and the implications for the institutional design of monetary and banking systems are considered.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA|
Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/ciderwp.htm
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: IBER, F502 Haas Building, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720-1922|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996.
"The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context,"
IDB Publications (Working Papers)
5819, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996. "The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context," Research Department Publications 4026, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- repec:idb:wpaper:318 is not listed on IDEAS
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
- Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000.
"Las crisis gemelas: las causas de los problemas bancarios y de balanza de pagos
[The twin crises: Te causes of banking and balance of payments problems]," MPRA Paper 13842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-419, June.
- Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1998. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 353-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 1633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 5960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Perron, Pierre & Rodriguez, Gabriel, 2003. "GLS detrending, efficient unit root tests and structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 1-27, July.
- Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-836, July.
- Elliott, Graham, 1999. "Efficient Tests for a Unit Root When the Initial Observation Is Drawn from Its Unconditional Distribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 767-783, August.
- Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "GLSDETREND: RATS procedure to perform local to unity GLS detrending," Statistical Software Components RTS00077, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "ERSTEST: RATS procedure to perform Elliott-Rothenberg-Stock unit root tests," Statistical Software Components RTS00066, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Elías Salama, 1997. "El Orden Monetario. Caja de Conversión-Banco de la Nación," Department of Economics, Working Papers 001, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
- Velasco, Andres, 1987. "Financial crises and balance of payments crises : A simple model of the southern cone experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 263-283, October.
- Feldstein, Martin, 1999. "A Self-Help Guide for Emerging Markets," Scholarly Articles 2961700, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Barry Eichengreen, 1998. "Exchange Rate Stability and Financial Stability," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 569-608, January.
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1997. "Exchange Rate Stability and Financial Stability," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233612, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
- Barry Eichengreen., 1997. "Exchange Rate Stability and Financial Stability," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-092, University of California at Berkeley.
- Taylor, Alan M., 1992. "External Dependence, Demographic Burdens, and Argentine Economic Decline After the Belle Époque," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 907-936, December.
- Miller, Victoria, 1996. "Speculative currency attacks with endogenously induced commercial bank crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 383-403, June.
- Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, July.
- De Gregorio, Jose & Guidotti, Pablo E., 1995. "Financial development and economic growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 433-448, March.
- Pablo Emilio Guidotti & Jose De Gregorio, 1992. "Financial Development and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 92/101, International Monetary Fund.
- Roubini, Nouriel & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Financial repression and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 5-30, July.
- Nouriel Roubini & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Financial Repression and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Diaz-Alejandro, Carlos, 1985. "Good-bye financial repression, hello financial crash," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-24.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
- George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)