Chapter

Banking in Germany, 1918–1939

Gerd Hardach

in Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198288039
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596230 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198288034.003.0010
 Banking in Germany, 1918–1939

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The focus of this chapter is not on the short‐term fluctuations experienced by the German banks during the inter‐war period, but on the structural change that ultimately resulted in the formation of a national banking system. The banking system of the early twentieth century was not a rational construct, but had evolved over the previous hundred years and consisted of a mixture of quite different financial intermediaries defined by a combination of legal provisions, ownership, economic philosophy, and business structure. Post‐war hyperinflation was followed by financial reconstruction, but the system collapsed in the banking crisis of 1931 and was reorganized under the Banking Law of 1934 as a monopolistic structure under strict government surveillance. The resulting system fitted the Nazi regime of armament and autarky, but was not an adequate model for the expanding world economy created after World War II.

Keywords: banking crisis; banks; financial reconstruction; Germany; hyperinflation; monopoly; national banking system; Nazi Party; surveillance

Chapter.  11611 words. 

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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