Wildcat Bankers or Political Failure? The Irish Financial Pantomime, 1797-1826

Sean Kenny, John Turner

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Abstract

Using a new biography of banks, we examine the stability of Irish banking from 1797 to 1826 by constructing a failure rate series. We find that the ultimate cause of the frequent and severe banking crises was the crisis-prone structure of the banking system, which was designed to benefit the political elite. There is little evidence to suggest that wildcat banking or the failure of the Bank of Ireland to act as a lender of last resort were to blame. We also find that the main economic effect of the episodic crises was major diminutions in the money supply.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Dec 2019

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