Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Bank of France's balance sheets database, 1840–1998: an introduction to 158 years of central banking

  • Patrice Baubeau (a1)
Abstract

A project to build a comprehensive database of the Bank of France's published accounts covering its entire history was launched in 2001 with the support of the Bank's Mission Historique. This article introduces its main outcome: a dataset based on the weekly balance sheets – the so-called situations hebdomadaires – covering more than a century and a half of history from 1840 to 1998. After a brief outline of the historical evolution of the Bank's legal status and a description of the publication outlets for the data, the article pays special attention to the issues of transparency and accountability. For that purpose, it reconstructs on the basis of archival records the debate over the disclosure of the Bank's figures (what to publish, how frequently) that took place, both within the Bank and between the Bank and the government, at various turning points in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Finally, the article explains how the presentation of the situations changed over time, paying special attention to the impact of World Wars I and II. The full database with metadata information is attached to the electronic version of this article and downloadable as an Excel file from the FHR website, together with an extensive review of the literature on the history of the Bank of France.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Bank of France's balance sheets database, 1840–1998: an introduction to 158 years of central banking
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Bank of France's balance sheets database, 1840–1998: an introduction to 158 years of central banking
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Bank of France's balance sheets database, 1840–1998: an introduction to 158 years of central banking
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
P. Baubeau, Université Paris Nanterre / IDHES (UMR 8533), Bâtiment Max Weber/230, 200, Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France; email: patrice.baubeau@orange.fr.
Footnotes
Hide All

This paper was originally prepared for the workshop on ‘Central banks' balance sheets’ held at the 10th Conference of the SEEMHN (South-Eastern European Monetary History Network), 1 October 2015, and hosted by the Bank of Austria in Vienna. The author thanks the conference organisers for their hospitality and the participants for their useful feedback. He also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Banque de France in both the collection and the organisation of the data, especially Arnaud Manas. Finally, he is grateful to two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions on a previous draft of the paper and is immensely indebted to Stefano Battilossi for his invaluable support and help in the publication process. All remaining errors are of course mine.

Footnotes
References
Hide All

Archives de la Banque de France (ABDF):

  • -

    - Assemblées générales des Actionnaires de la Banque de France.

  • -

    - Recueils des situations hebdomadaires de la Banque.

  • -

    - Procès-verbaux du Conseil général de la Banque de France.

  • -

    - Recueils des circulaires de la Banque à ses succursales.

  • -

    - Comptabilité générale, Situations hebdomadaires.

Anon., (1931). Lois et statuts qui régissent la Banque de France. Paris: Paul Dupont (Banque de France).
Anon., (1949). L'analyse de la situation monétaire d'après les bilans hebdomadaires de la Banque de France. Statistiques et Etudes Financières, 1ère année, pp. 7–11.
Banque De France, (1931). Lois et statuts gouvernant la Banque de France. Paris: Dupont.
Banque De France, (1985). La Banque de France: histoire, organisation, rôle. Paris: Banque de France (several editions).
Gautier, J. (1956). La centralisation des écritures et l’établissement du bilan de la Banque de France, conférence de M. J. Gautier, 26 juin 1956, Banque de France (Bibliothèque du Conseil, Z 2604).
Journal Officiel de la République française, 1870–80.
Lorain, M. (1963). Rapport présenté au ministre des Finances et des Affaires économiques par le comité chargé d’étudier le financement des investissements. Paris: Imprimerie nationale.
Marjolin, R., Sadrin, J. and Wormser, O. (1969). Rapport sur le marché monétaire et les conditions de crédit de 1969. Paris: Documentation Française.
Morant, H. (1951). La situation hebdomadaire de la Banque de France. Revue économique, 2(5), pp. 610–25.
Anon., (1863). La Banque de France et la Banque de Savoie devant l’intérêt public. Paris: Imprimerie Paul Dupont.
Baubeau, P (2005). Le capital de la Banque de France et le choix monétaire de la Reconstruction: analyse et enseignements des bilans d'une banque centra. In Feiertag, O. (ed.), Mesurer la monnaie: banques centrales et construction de l'autorité monétaire (XIXe–XXe siècle). Paris: Albin Michel.
Baubeau, P. (2010). Introducing a new database: the Banque de France's weekly balance sheets, 1840–1998. Bulletin, Newsletter from the EABH, 1, pp. 4753.
Baubeau, P. (2016). La Caisse d'Escompte, la Banque de France et leurs privilèges de part et d'autre de la Révolution française. In Garner, G. (ed.), Die Ökonomie des Privilegs, Westeuropa 16.–19. Jahrhundert / L’économie du privilège, Europe occidentale XVIe–XIXe siècles. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Bergeron, L. (1978). Banquiers, négociants et manufacturiers parisiens du Directoire à l'Empir. Paris: EHESS; New York: Mouton.
Blancheton, B. (2001). Le Pape et l'Empereur: La Banque de France, la direction du Trésor et la politique monétaire de la France (1914–1928). Paris: Albin Michel.
Blancheton, B. (2012). The false balance sheets of the Bank of France and the origins of the Franc crisis, 1924–26. Accounting History Review, 22–1, pp. 122.
Bourguinat, H. (1987). Les vertiges de la finance internationale. Paris: Economica.
Bouvier, J. (1960). Les Péreire et l'affaire de la Banque de Savoie. Cahiers d'histoire, 5–4, pp. 383410.
Cabannes, X. (2004). La suppression de la situation hebdomadaire de la Banque de France: un symbole. Banque et Droit, 93, pp. 1519.
Capie, F., Goodhart, C. and Schnadt, N. (1994). The development of central banking. In Capie, F., Fischer, S., Goodhart, C. and Schnadt, N. (eds.), The Future of Central Banking: The Tercentenary Symposium of the Bank of England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dard, O. (2003). Banques centrales et mythologies politiques dans l'entre-deux-guerres. In Feiertag, O. and Margairaz, M. (eds.), Politiques et pratiques des banques d'émission en Europe, XVIIe–XXe siècle: le bicentenaire de la Banque de France dans la perspective de l'identité monétaire européenne. Paris: Albin Michel, pp. 549–68.
Delaisi, F. (1936). La Banque de France aux mains des 200 familles. Paris: CVIA.
Feiertag, O. (2005). L'École de la Banque de France: statistiques monétaires et greffe économétrique à la Banque de France (1970–1990). In Feiertag, O. (ed.), Mesurer la monnaie, statistiques et expertises des banques d'émission en Europe (XVIIIe–XXe siècles). Paris: Albin Michel.
Feiertag, O. (2006). Wilfrid Baumgartner: un grand commis des finances à la croisée des pouvoirs (1902–1978). Paris: CHEFF.
Gille, B. (1970). La Banque en France au 19ème Siècle. Geneva: Droz.
Jeanneney, J.-N. (1976). François de Wendel en République: l'argent et le pouvoir, 1914–1940. Paris: Seuil.
Koch, H. (1983). Histoire de la Banque de France et de la monnaie sous la IVe République. Paris: Dunod.
Leclercq, Y. (2010). La Banque supérieure: La Banque de France de 1800 à 1914, Bibliothèque de l’économiste. Paris: Classiques Garnier.
Lescure, M. (2003). La formation d'un système de crédit en France et le rôle de la banque d’émission (1850–1914). In Feirtag, O. and Margairaz, M. (eds.), Politiques et pratiques des banques d’émission en Europe (XVIIe–XXe siècle). Paris: Albin Michel, pp. 131–48.
Manas, A. (2013). L'Or de Vichy: L'État français et la monnaie. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Université Paris I – Sorbonne.
Margairaz, M. (2003). Monnaie, État et marché entre les deux guerres: le Trésor, la Banque de France et le marché monétaire dans une perspective comparative européenne. In Feiertag, O. and Margairaz, M. (eds.), Politiques et pratiques des banques d’émission en Europe (XVIIe–XXe siècle). Paris: Albin Michel.
Monnet, E. (2014). Monetary policy without interest rates: evidence from France's golden age (1948 to 1973) using a narrative approach. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 6–4, pp. 137–69.
Mouré, K. (1998). La politique du Franc Poincaré. Paris: Albin Michel.
Perrot, M. (1955). La monnaie et l'opinion publique en France et en Angleterre de 1924 à 1936. Paris: Armand Colin.
Perroux, F. (1945). Les banques d’émission et l’État. Revue d’économie politique, 54, pp. 485–98.
Plessis, A. (1982). La Banque de France et ses deux cents actionnaires sous le Second Empire. Geneva: Droz.
Plessis, A. (1985a). La politique de la Banque de France de 1851 à 1870. Paris: Droz.
Plessis, A. (1985b). Régents et Gouverneurs de la Banque de France sous le Second Empire. Geneva: Droz.
Plessis, A. (1998). Histoires de la Banque de France. Paris: Albin Michel.
Rueff, J. (1957). Éléments pour une théorie du taux d'escompte et de la balance des comptes. Revue économique, 8(4), pp. 529–59.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Financial History Review
  • ISSN: 0968-5650
  • EISSN: 1474-0052
  • URL: /core/journals/financial-history-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

JEL classification

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Baubeau supplementary material
Baubeau supplementary material 1

 Word (53 KB)
53 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Baubeau supplementary material
Baubeau supplementary material 2

 Unknown (9.3 MB)
9.3 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed