IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/eabhps/1703.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Bank of England as lender of last resort: New historical evidence from daily transactional data

Author

Listed:
  • Anson, Mike
  • Bhola, David
  • Kang, Miao
  • Thomas, Ryland

Abstract

We use daily transactional ledger data from the Bank of England's Archive to test whether and to what extent the Bank of England during the mid-nineteenth century adhered to Walter Bagehot's rule that a central bank in a financial crisis should lend cash freely at a high interest rate in exchange for "good" securities. The archival data we use provides granular, loan-level insight on the price and quantity of credit, and information on its distribution to particular counterparties. We find that the Bank's behaviour during this period broadly conforms to Bagehot's rule, though with variation across the crises of 1847, 1857 and 1866. Using a new, higher frequency series on the Bank's balance sheet, we find that the Bank did lend freely, with the number of discounts and advances increasing during crises. These loans were typically granted at a rate above pre-crisis levels and, in 1857 and 1866, typically at a spread above Bank Rate, though we also find some instances in the daily discount ledgers where individual loans were made below Bank rate in 1847. Another set of customer ledgers shows that the securities the Bank purchased were debts owed by a geographically and industrially diverse set of debtors. And using new data on the Bank's income and dividends, we find the Bank and its shareholders profited from lender of last resort operations. We conclude our paper by relating our findings to contemporary debates including those regarding the provision of emergency liquidity to shadow banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Anson, Mike & Bhola, David & Kang, Miao & Thomas, Ryland, 2017. "The Bank of England as lender of last resort: New historical evidence from daily transactional data," eabh Papers 17-03, The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:eabhps:1703
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/171322/1/1004960824.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1116-1147, December.
    2. Calomiris, Charles W., 2010. "Banking crises yesterday and today," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(01), pages 3-12, April.
    3. Burdekin, Richard C. K. & Keskinel, Meric, 2013. "Liquidity preference and interest-bearing money: the Ottoman Empire, 1840–1851," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 91-102, April.
    4. Charles W. Calomiris & Stephen H. Haber, 2015. "Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10177-2.
    5. Stephen Quinn & William Roberds, 2015. "Responding to a Shadow Banking Crisis: The Lessons of 1763," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1149-1176, September.
    6. Eichengreen, Barry, 2016. "Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190621070.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    9. Marc Flandreau, Stefano Ugolini, 2011. "Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and the Bank of England during the Overend, Gurney Panic of 1866," IHEID Working Papers 04-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    10. Sowerbutts, Rhiannon & Schneebalg, Marco & Hubert, Florence, 2016. "​The demise of Overend Gurney," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 56(2), pages 94-106.
    11. Matthias Morys, 2014. "Gold Standard Lessons for the Eurozone," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 728-741, July.
    12. Charles Goodhart, 1999. "Myths About the Lender of Last Resort," FMG Special Papers sp120, Financial Markets Group.
    13. Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
    14. Peter Temin & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Interest Rate Restrictions in a Natural Experiment: Loan Allocation and the Change in the Usury Laws in 1714," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 743-758, April.
    15. Santarosa, Veronica Aoki, 2015. "Financing Long-Distance Trade: The Joint Liability Rule and Bills of Exchange in Eighteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(03), pages 690-719, September.
    16. Bordo, Michael D. & White, Eugene N., 1991. "A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 303-316, June.
    17. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1.
    18. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
    19. Thomas, Ryland & Hills, Sally & Dimsdale, Nicholas, 2010. "The UK recession in context — what do three centuries of data tell us?," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 50(4), pages 277-291.
    20. Jobst, Clemens & Bignon, Vincent, 2017. "Economic crises and the eligiblity for the lender of last resort: evidence from 19th century France," Working Paper Series 2027, European Central Bank.
    21. Laurent Le Maux & Laurence Scialom, 2013. "Central banks and financial stability: rediscovering the lender-of-last-resort practice in a finance economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-16.
    22. Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2014. "The Crisis of 1866," Post-Print hal-01293925, HAL.
    23. Kenneth N Kuttner, 2010. "Victorian Financial Crises and their Implications for the Future," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 102-109, April.
    24. Hyun Song Shin, 2009. "Reflections on Northern Rock: The Bank Run That Heralded the Global Financial Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 101-119, Winter.
    25. Patrick K. O’Brien & Nuno Palma, 2016. "Danger to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street? The Bank Restriction Act and the Regime Shift to Paper Money, 1797-1821," Working Papers 67, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research, revised Oct 2016.
    26. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2012. "Bagehot for beginners: the making of lender‐of‐last‐resort operations in the mid‐nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 580-608, May.
    27. George A. Selgin, 1989. "Legal Restrictions, Financial Weakening, and the Lender of Last Resort," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 9(2), pages 429-469, Fall.
    28. Zoltan Pozsar, 2014. "Shadow Banking: The Money View," Working Papers 14-04, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    29. Jobst, Clemens & Bignon, Vincent, 2017. "Economic crises and the eligiblity for the lender of last resort: evidence from 19th century France," Working Paper Series 2027, European Central Bank.
    30. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 1994. "Insider Lending: Banks, Personal Connections, and Economic Development in Industrial New England," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lamo94-1.
    31. Button, Richard & Knott, Samual & Macmanus, Conor & Willison, Matthew, 2015. "Desperate adventurers and men of straw: the failure of City of Glasgow Bank and its enduring impact on the UK banking system," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 55(1), pages 23-35.
    32. Bholat, David & Lastra, Rosa & Markose, Sheri & Miglionico, Andrea & Sen, Kallol, 2016. "Non-performing loans: regulatory and accounting treatments of assets," Bank of England working papers 594, Bank of England.
    33. David Bholat, 2014. "The Interwar Gold Standard in Light of the Present," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 711-712, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank of England; lender of last resort; financial crises; financial history; central banking;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:eabhps:1703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/eabhhea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.