Chapter

Wall Street Transitions, 1880–1920: From National to World Financial Centre

Richard Sylla

in Financial Centres and International Capital Flows in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603503
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729249 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603503.003.0007
Wall Street Transitions, 1880–1920: From National to World Financial Centre

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On the eve of World War I, the U.S. economy was by a good measure the largest in the world. Nonetheless, the USA was viewed as a relatively minor player on the world financial stage. A comparison of leading financial systems, however, indicates that the USA also had by a good measure the largest of any country. The large U.S. financial system served mostly the large domestic U.S. economy with a rather limited role, in comparison to the leading European economies, in international finance. World War I abruptly transformed the USA from a leading debtor nation into the leading creditor nation. An appreciation of the true dimensions of the U.S. financial system before the war contributes to an understanding of how New York, a seemingly secondary financial center in 1913, could become the world’s leading financial center a decade later.

Keywords: comparative financial systems; financial development; financial centers; banks; stock markets; bond markets

Chapter.  8691 words. 

Subjects: Business History

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