Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe between the Wars

Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe between the Wars

Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe between the Wars

Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe between the Wars


This work provides an authoritative study of the interwar financial history of Europe. The policies and practices leading to, and flowing from, the exchange rate crises and banking failures of 1929-33 are explored at three levels: overall themes studies in an international perspective, comparative analyses of the experience of pairs of countries, and detailed surveys of individual countries.


In 1989 a meeting was convened under the auspices of the European Science Foundation to discuss the formation of a scientific network embracing economists and economic historians from a large number of European countries, and with some additional representation from the USA. The aim was to initiate a programme of research on the Economic History of Europe between the Wars.

The detailed planning of the network was taken forward a year later at a conference held at Vat, in Provence, with the generous assistance of the Fondation des Treilles and the memorable hospitality of its President, Madame Anne Gruner Schlumberger. This in turn led to a series of conferences, one of which, held in Venice in January 1992 and supported by the Venice Committee for Economic Studies, was devoted to the theme Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe between the Wars. Many of the papers included in this volume were initially presented at that meeting; others were specially commissioned for the volume or arose out of the comments of the rapporteurs and others at the discussions in Venice.

I should like to express my appreciation of the efficient assistance we received at every stage of our proceedings from the European Science Foundation, and in particular from Dr Gérard Darmon, the Scientific Secretary for the Humanities and Social Sciences. I also wish to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by members of the network's Co- ordinating Committee who participated actively in all our deliberations but are not represented in this study; in particular, Professor Françoise Caron, the President, and Professors Paul Bairoch, Wolfram Fischer, Rolf Ohlsson, and Herman Van der Wee.

The programme of research which has resulted in the present volume represents one outcome of the ESF network; the work of other groups will be published in F. Caron,P. Erker, andW. Fischer (eds.), Innovations in the European Economy between the Wars (De Gruyter and Co., 1995) and in a forthcoming special issue of the Scandinavian Economic History Review, edited by R. Ohlsson, on The European Labour Market between the Wars.

This collection of studies of banking, exchange rates, and domestic and international financial policy in Europe between the wars is arranged in three parts. In the first the major themes are set in a broad international context, and the experience of a large number of European countries and of the USA is brought to bear on the issues considered. Part II is devoted to comparative analyses of the specific exchange-rate policies of pairs of . . .

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