New PDF release: Banking Panics of the Gilded Age

By Elmus Wicker

This can be the 1st significant research of post-Civil struggle banking panics in virtually a century. the writer has built for the 1st time estimates of financial institution closures and their prevalence in all of the 5 separate banking disturbances. the writer additionally reevaluates the function of the recent York Clearing residence in forestalling a number of panics and explains why it didn't accomplish that in 1893 and 1907, concluding that structural defects of the nationwide Banking Act weren't the first explanation for the panics.

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James's (1938) description of Chicago on the eve of the banking panic revealed that the city was rapidly becoming a reserve center, second only 24 Banking Panics of the Gilded Age to New York in the holding of bankers' balances. It did not, however, equal Boston and Philadelphia in total bank resources. Nevertheless, the description of banking instability in Chicago had the potential for diffusing depositor uncertainty throughout the Midwest. The NYCH had announced on the 24th the suspension of cash payment.

There were runs on specific banks in at least six cities: New York; Brooklyn; Newark; Erie; Bradford, Pennsylvania; and Petersburg, Virginia. The absence of any sizable or notable bank suspensions in the interior must not be interpreted to mean that banks outside New York did not respond to the banking disturbance in the central money market. For indeed they did, by withdrawing their New York balances. 2). 6 million for the week ending May 24. Had the reserve deficit persisted, loan and deposit contraction would have been more severe.

If the bank was "hopelessly insolvent," it was removed as a member of the Clearing House. Between December 1871 and October 1907 at least sixteen banks were examined: fifteen were declared solvent and one insolvent. Where necessary, aid was extended by some members of the Clearing House, their losses, if any, being covered by the NYCH. In the event all else failed, the NYCH suspended cash payment. The power that the Clearing House possessed was impressive even in the absence of authority to vary the amount of the legal tender reserve provided that the size of the reserve was satisfactory.

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