Effects of the War on Money, Credit and Banking in France and the United States

By Benjamin M. Anderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
The French Bourse during the War
In our chapter on "France at the outbreak of the war", attention was centered on the bourse. The list of securities dealt in there had been weakened by prewar speculation and depression. We have seen how largely they consisted of second rate issues of foreign governments, Russians, Bulgarians, Brazilians, Argentine securities, Mexican securities and the like. When to this weakness was added the frightened selling on the bourses of Vienna,' Berlin and other centers, followed by the wild panic when war was clearly in sight, it is not surprising that the whole fabric collapsed. We saw something of the extent of the decline of representative securities and the extent of the recovery by December 7, 1914, when the bourse was reopened for cash trading only. A preceding chapter has given an account of the bourse moratorium and of the lapsing of that moratorium in October, 1915.The main story of the bourse in the four years following the outbreak of the war is best told in the accompanying charts. Attention may be called to the divergence between the prices of shares of the Banque de France and of the other French banks. The five banks treated in the curve for the other French banks are:
Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas Comptoir d'Escompte Crédit Foncier Crédit Industriel (liberée) Crédit Lyonnais

There has been a steady rise in the shares of the Banque de France from the last quarter of 1915 and a decided decline in the shares of the other banks. The reasons for this have been fully stated in our previous discussions of these institutions.

The two railway shares chosen are the Midi and the Lyons,

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