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Banking crises and the international monetary system in the Great Depression and now1

  • Richhild Moessner (a1) and William A. Allen (a2)

We identify similarities and differences in the scale and nature of the banking crises in 2008-9 and the Great Depression, and analyse differences in the policy response to the two crises in light of the prevailing international monetary systems. We find that the scale of the banking crisis, as measured by falls in international short-term indebtedness and total bank deposits, was smaller in 2008-9 than in 1931. However, central bank liquidity provision was larger in the flexible exchange rate environment of 2008-9 than in 1931, when it had been constrained in many countries by the gold standard.

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Financial History Review
  • ISSN: 0968-5650
  • EISSN: 1474-0052
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