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With a bang, not a whimper: Pricking Germany's "stock market bubble" in 1927 and the slide into depression

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  • Hans Joachim Voth

Abstract

In May 1927, the German central bank intervened indirectly to reduce lending to equity investors. The crash that followed ended the only stock market boom during Germany’s relative stabilization 1924-28. This paper examines the factors that lead to the intervention as well as its consequences. We argue that genuine concern about the ‘exuberant’ level of the stock market, in addition to worries about an inflow of foreign funds, tipped the scales in favour of intervention. The evidence strongly suggests that the German central bank under Hjalmar Schacht was wrong to be concerned about stockprices-there was no bubble. Also, the Reichsbank was mistaken in its belief that a fall in the market would reduce the importance of short-term foreign borrowing, and help to ease conditions in the money market. The misguided intervention had important real effects. Investment suffered, helping to tip Germany into depression.

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  • Hans Joachim Voth, 2000. "With a bang, not a whimper: Pricking Germany's "stock market bubble" in 1927 and the slide into depression," Economics Working Papers 516, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:516
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stock market; foreign lending; fixed exchange rates; asset prices; bubbles; Germany; monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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