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Liquidity Requirements, Free-Riding, and the Implications for Financial Stability Evidence from the Early 1900s
Maintaining sufficient liquidity in the financial system is vital for financial stability. However, since returns on liquid assets are typically low, individual financial institutions may seek to hold fewer such assets, especially if they believe they can rely on other institutions for liquidity support. We examine whether state banks in the early 1900s took advantage of relatively high cash balances maintained by national banks, due to reserve requirements, to hold less cash themselves. We find that state banks did hold less cash in places where both state legal requirements were lower and ...
Sovereign Risk and Fiscal Information: A Look at the U.S. State Default of the 1840s
This paper examines how newspaper reporting affects government bond prices during the U.S. state default of the 1840s. Using unsupervised machine learning algorithms, the paper first constructs novel ``fiscal information indices'' for state governments based on U.S. newspapers at the time. The impact of the indices on government bond prices varied over time. Before the crisis, the entry of new western states into the bond market spurred competition: more state-specific fiscal news imposed downward pressure on bond prices for established states in the market. During the crisis, more ...
Restoring confidence in troubled financial institutions after a financial crisis
After an unprecedented number of banks suspended operations in the during Panic of 1893, the head regulator of banks chartered by the United States government allowed about 100 banks to reopen after certifying their solvency. We evaluate whether actions by bank owners to change management, contract with depositors to extend liability maturity structure, write off bad assets, and/or inject capital affected bank survival and deposit retention. This historical episode is particularly informative because there was no expectation of government intervention. We find that contracting with depositors ...