Es parla molt de 1929 i gens de 1931. Fa unes setmanes Niall Fergusson explicava a La Pedrera com destacats banquers no sabien el que havia passat l’any 1931. Us sona Kreditanstalt? Podeu trobar la seva història i les seves conseqüències a “The Collapse of Kreditanstalt in 1931“. I un resum extrem d’un post d’Erwan Mahe a Seeking Alpha
1920-1929: the main Austrian bank, Boden-Kredit Anstalt, rides the credit wave to become the leading bank in Eastern Europe.
1929: Knocked to the mat by the October crash, Boden-Kredit Anstalt is absorbed by Oesterrichische-Kredit-Anstalt, thanks to a capital investment by a banking consortium (JP, Schroeder, Rothschild) and the Austrian government's backing for part of the "toxic" assets. This new establishment henceforth takes the name, Kreditanstalt Bank.
1931: Kreditanstalt Bank announces that it is unable to publish 1930 accounts in time, due to the English auditor's discovery of misstatements in the accounts of ex-Boden-Kredit Anstalt. At 11 May, the bank declares unexpected losses totalling 140m schillings, triggering a run on the bank, probably encouraged by French creditors seeking to block the Austro-German customs union plan.
Unable to freeze the deposits of the country's largest financial institution, which includes half the nation's total businesses, Austrian authorities set up a number of public-private sector bail-out plans, with help from The House of Rothschild and the Central Bank.
But the run spreads to all the country's banks and those of Germany, as savers fear that the country's credibility been hit. As such, they demand that their schillings be converted to gold, given that the country operates under the gold standard.
Despite international loans from the Bank of England and the BIS, backed by the Fed, and interest rate hikes meant to attracted in-country capital, in the end, Austria defaults and abandons the gold standard, while freezing the assets of non-residents still in the country's banks. Germany then follows suite and prohibits transactions in gold.
British banks, with their heavy commitments to German banks, fall victim to this wave of distrust. 20 September, Great Britain uses a disguised default, with its abandonment of the gold standard, but not before accepting $650m in loans from the Fed and the Bank of France, causing them to rack up huge losses, although Bank of England Governor, Sir Montagu Norman, had visited the Dutch Central Bank chief, Dr Vissering, two days earlier to assure him that there was absolutely no chance that the pound sterling would be unhitched from the gold standard to convince that country to maintain its assets in the British currency.
Japan and the Scandinavian countries then proceed to abandon the gold standard.
1932: Fears about the soundness of the banking system and government's credibility spread to the United States, which also tries to attract capital via the conduct of austere monetary and fiscal policies. However, over 40% of banks go bankrupt (10,000) from 1929 to 1932, money supply and GDP contracts 31%, 13 million people lose their jobs, farm produce prices plunge 53% stock markets nosedive 80%.
President Hoover increases the top income tax rate to 63% from 25% and the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 passes. The US sticks to the gold standard.
1933: Roosevelt takes office and declares March a Bank Holiday, following a third wave of banking panic. He prohibited individuals from holding gold as of 5 April. The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 is approved and the FDIC is created. The United States then abandons the gold standard.
1935-36: The Gold Bloc, led by France, with Poland, Belgium and Switzerland end up abandoning the gold standard.Us recorda a la situació actual? No tenim el patró or. D’acord, però i la resta? Som (perillosament) al 1931?
Segons Nouriel Roubini i Niall Ferguson, Alemanya està oblidant la lliçó del 1931 (“Berlin is ignoring the lessons of the 1930s”). Per evitar que es repeteixi aquest desastre fan vàries propostes:
First, there needs to be a programme of direct recapitalisation – via preferred non-voting shares – of eurozone banks, in the periphery and the core, by the European Financial Stability Facility and its successor, the European Stability Mechanism. (...)
Second, to avoid a run on eurozone banks – a certainty in the case of a Greek exit and likely in any case – an EU-wide system of deposit insurance needs to be created. (...)
Finally, given the unsustainably high public debts and borrowing costs of certain member states, we see no alternative to some kind of debt mutualisation.I tornant al 1931, una reflexió interessant de Martin Wolf:
Before now, I had never really understood how the 1930s could happen. Now I do. All one needs are fragile economies, a rigid monetary regime, intense debate over what must be done, widespread belief that suffering is good, myopic politicians, an inability to co-operate and failure to stay ahead of events.Conclusions:
- Estudiem història
- Aprenem de la història
- Evitem repetir els errors que ens ensenya la historia