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Dividends of DevelopmentSecurities Markets in the History of U.S. Capitalism, 1866-1922$
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Mary A. O’Sullivan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584444.001.0001

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The Wages of War, 1914–1922

The Wages of War, 1914–1922

Chapter:
(p.311) 8 The Wages of War, 1914–1922
Source:
Dividends of Development
Author(s):

Mary A. O’Sullivan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584444.003.0009

Although structural financial reform for the USA came in the guise of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, it had not been implemented by the summer of 1914. Thus the outbreak of the First World War offered a window on the history of the US securities markets, exposing the limits of their development until then. On 31 July 1914, the governors of the NYSE were concerned about these markets’ capacity to withstand the crisis and decided to close the exchange. However, they need not have worried so much given what the future had in store. When normal peacetime conditions returned after the crisis of 1920–1, it was clear that the war had opened the door to a new future for US securities markets. From that point on, for good or for ill, broad and deep securities markets constituted an integral part of the institutional framework that sustained US capitalism.

Keywords:   First World War, speculation, industrials, call money, Federal Reserve System, crisis of 1920–1

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