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With a bang, not a whimper: Pricking Germany's "stock market bubble" in 1927 and the slide into depression
Voth, Hans Joachim
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
In May 1927, the German central bank intervenedindirectly to reduce lending to equity investors.The crash that followed ended the only stockmarket boom during Germany s relative stabilization 1924-28. This paper examines thefactors that lead to the intervention as well asits consequences. We argue that genuine concernabout the exuberant level of the stock market,in addition to worries about an inflow offoreign funds, tipped the scales in favour ofintervention. The evidence strongly suggeststhat the German central bank under HjalmarSchacht was wrong to be concerned aboutstockprices-there was no bubble. Also, theReichsbank was mistaken in its belief thata fall in the market would reduce theimportance of short-term foreign borrowing,and help to ease conditions in the money market.The misguided intervention had important realeffects. Investment suffered, helping to tipGermany into depression.
Economic and Business History
stock market
foreign lending
fixed exchange rates
asset prices
monetary policy
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