Ben Bernanke and Bagehot 's Rules
27 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013 Last revised: 1 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2013
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has claimed that the Fed's bank bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis were consistent with Walter Bagehot's rules for a lender of last resort. This paper demonstrates Bernanke's claims to be mistaken. First, we outline Bagehot's doctrine for a classical lender of last resort. Next, we discuss Bernanke's theory of bank bailouts and his statements regarding the Fed's role in the 2008 bank bailouts. Finally, we examine the bailouts and demonstrate that, in contrast with Bernanke's claims, the Fed's actions were not consistent with Bagehot's rules for a lender of last resort.
Keywords: Ben Bernanke, Walter Bagehot, bank bailouts, lender of last resort
JEL Classification: G21, G32, D8, E42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation