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Payments Crises and Consequences
Banking-system shutdowns during contractions scar economies. Four times in the lastforty years, governors suspended payments from state-insured depository institutions. Suspensionsof payments in Nebraska (1983), Ohio (1985), and Maryland (1985), which wereshort and occurred during expansions, had little measurable impact on macroeconomic aggregates.Rhode Island’s payments crisis (1991), which was prolonged and occurred duringa recession, lengthened and deepened the downturn. Unemployment increased. Outputdeclined, possibly permanently relative to what might have been. We document these ...
The Macroeconomic Fallout of Shutting Down the Banking System
During the 2008–09 financial crisis, the U.S. government arranged bailouts of major banks to prevent a suspension of bank deposits, where banks cease paying checks and refuse depositors’ requests to withdraw funds. Although these bailouts likely helped firms and households continue to make payments, they have been debated due to potential moral hazard concerns as well as the high cost to taxpayers. Assessing the costs and benefits of preventing deposit suspensions is difficult, as nationwide bank suspensions have not occurred since the Great Depression.To circumvent this challenge, Qian ...