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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Deposit withdrawal pressures on banks, which sometimes take the form of sudden runs, have figured prominently in the discussion of public policy toward banks and the construction of safety nets such as deposit insurance and the lender of last resort. This chapter examines historical evidence from the Great Depression, and other episodes, on the factors that prompted withdrawals, the discussion of contagious runs, and the public policy implications. The historical evidence is presented in detail and is connected to the debate over the proper roles of deposit market discipline via the threat of withdrawals, the insurance of deposits, and lender-of-last-resort support for banks facing withdrawal pressures.

Keywords: banking crises, contagion, fundamental shocks, Great Depression, lender-of-last-resort, panics

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