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Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars$
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Charles H. Feinstein

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288034.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Banking in Germany, 1918–1939

Banking in Germany, 1918–1939

(p.269) 9 Banking in Germany, 1918–1939
Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars

Gerd Hardach

Oxford University Press

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

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