Too-Big-To-Fail Before the Fed
13 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016 Last revised: 16 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 2016
“Too-big-to-fail” is consistent with policies followed by private bank clearing houses during financial crises in the U.S. National Banking Era prior to the existence of the Federal Reserve System. Private bank clearing houses provided emergency lending to member banks during financial crises. This behavior strongly suggests that “too-big-to-fail” is not the problem causing modern crises. Rather it is a reasonable response to the threat posed to large banks by the vulnerability of short-term debt to runs.
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