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Birth of the Federal Reserve: Crisis in the Womb

Authors: Silber, William L.
Keywords: Federal Reserve;Gold Standard;Financial Crises;World War I
Issue Date: Oct-2003
Series/Report no.: S-FI-03-10
Abstract: The outbreak of World War I shut the New York Stock Exchange for more than four months. The conventional explanation maintains that the closure prevented a collapse in stock prices that threatened a repetition of the Panic of 1907. This paper shows that the Wilson Administration encouraged the suspension of trading to pave the way for launching the Federal Reserve System, which was in the process of being born. Closing the Exchange helped to forestall an outflow of gold. Federal Reserve insiders considered an adequate stock of gold crucial to the success of the new monetary system.
Appears in Collections:Financial Institutions

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