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Crises and Opportunities: The Shaping of Modern Finance by Youssef Cassis

By Youssef Cassis

Reading the diversities and commonalities of 8 international monetary crises because the past due nineteenth century (including the good melancholy of the Nineteen Thirties and the monetary debacle of the early twenty first century) this publication offers insights into how the monetary panorama has - or has now not - been reshaped after a systemic surprise.

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55 Two main questions arise when comparing 2008 with 1929: one concerns the nature of the financial crisis, the other the relationship between the financial crisis and the economic crisis. Narrowly defined, 1929 was a stock-market crash on Wall Street, not a banking crisis. The New York Stock Exchange soared after 1925, partly as a result of the euphoria of growth that marked the Roaring Twenties, speculative fever, inexperience, and, at times, also fraud,56 but largely because of the progress of the American economy and particularly the rationalization of production and the introduction of new management methods.

Never before, and never again until September 2008, was the international financial system so near collapse and in need of state intervention to rescue it. The causes, however, were different: the growing rumours of war and then the outbreak of hostilities, not an uncontrolled financial boom. And so were the sequels: the panic of 1914 was followed by a total war, not a severe recession, but the war itself was, of course, responsible for the economic instability of the 1920s and, ultimately, the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Britain was the first country to emerge from the Depression, unlike the countries that remained on gold. The effects of the pound’s exit from gold were rapidly felt in the United States. A second banking crisis had already hit the country between April and August, with 563 bank failures totalling $497 million. 75 The third crisis, in September and October, was more serious—817 banks failed, with deposits amounting to $747 million—and of a more nationwide character, despite the high share of three districts (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Cleveland) and the absence of crisis in New York.

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