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Senior Research Economist
Bruce Champ was a senior research economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
This paper provides a summary of the main features of U.S. financial and banking
data during the period of the National Banking System (1863–1914). The
purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of the stylized facts associated
with the era, with an emphasis on those impinging on national bank behavior.
The paper takes a detailed look at key elements of national bank balance sheets
over time, over the seasons, and during panic periods. The interesting and puzzling
patterns of interest rate movements during the era also are examined. The
paper introduces a new set of disaggregated data on the national bank era that
has not been examined by prior research. As data are presented in the paper,
some of the key puzzles associated with the era are introduced.
This paper represents a preliminary chapter from a forthcoming monograph on the period of the National Banking System. Other chapters of the monograph appear in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's working paper series as working paper 07-22R and working paper 07-23R.