NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Great Depression Analogy

Michael D. Bordo, Harold James

NBER Working Paper No. 15584
Issued in December 2009
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ME

This paper examines three areas in which analogies have been made between the interwar depression and the financial crisis of 2007 which reached a dramatic climax in September 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the rescue of AIG: they can be labeled macro-economic, micro-economic, and geo-political. First, the paper considers the story of monetary policy failures; second, there follows an examination of the micro-economic issues concerned with bank regulation and the reorganization of banking following the failure of one or more major financial institutions and the threat of systemic collapse; third, the paper turns to the issue of global imbalances and asks whether there are parallels that might be found in this domain too between the 1930s and the events of today.

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This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15584

Published: Bordo, Michael & James, Harold, 2010. "The Great Depression analogy," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 127-140, October. citation courtesy of

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