• Banking and Finance in Historical Perspective
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35. Jahrgang | Jahr 2009 | Heft 2


Aufsatz: Seite 95–201

Hartmut Kiehling
Die Geldpolitik der Reichsbank in der Großen Inflation / Reichsbank's Monetary Policy during High and Hyperinflation
Die Kreditschöpfung und ihre Determinanten 1914 bis 1923 / Credit Expansion and its Factors 1914–1923
The main purpose of this contribution is to explore money supply and other reasons for credit expansion during high and hyperinflation in Germany, and to compare it as accurately as possible with actual lending. Volume and time to maturity are particularly important factors behind credit expansion. These factors have been explored before to a very different degree. Foreign deposits have been examined previously extensively in relation to those of other depositors such as enterprises, private and public households. Further potential factors behind credit supply – such as money rates and monetary growth – have not, however, been explored until now. This is especially true for token money and near money during the last stages of German hyperinflation. Time series of money rates published to date are hampered by statistical breaks or flat markets. These subject areas will be covered in this paper. Considerable redeployment of credit extension took place from 1914–1923 between commercial banks and other financial intermediaries such as exchanges or mortgage banks. This has been explored before, but it is quantified in detail for the first time in this paper. Liquidity of the banking system and that of the overall economy is another important factor behind credit expansion. Such factors changed greatly during the period under examination. Changes are represented in this paper month by month. This detailed investigation has several goals: first, a better classification of periods both of money supply respectively credit lending and of general economic development. This is especially important during the sudden crises of spring 1920, autumn 1921 and during the second half of 1922. The liquidity of banks and the overall economy has not been explored sufficiently to date. Second, this paper aims to answer two questions in this regard: to which extent did the Reich’s subsidies during “Ruhrkampf” feed German money markets, and how much token money and near money was circulating at that time? Lastly, this paper examines whether Reichsbank’s policy was really as accommodating as many authors suppose it to have been, or whether its policy followed certain rules.

Seit seiner Novellierung 1939 fasst das Gesetz über das Kreditwesen (kurz: Kreditwesengesetz – KWG) Banken und Sparkassen unter dem Begriff „Kreditinstitute“ zusammen. In diesem offensichtlich wohlweislich gewählten Begriff manifestiert sich die besondere Bedeutung der Kreditvergabe als eine der wesentlichen Kernfunktionen des Bankengeschäfts. Das Kreditgeschäft bindet – mehr noch als das Einlagen-, Zahlungsverkehrs- und Wertpapiergeschäft – in besonderem Maße Betriebsmittel, andererseits trägt es in aller Regel aber auch wesentlich zum Unternehmenserfolg bei. Eine Grundvoraussetzung für das Kreditgeschäft der Banken ist die Verfügbarkeit ausreichender liquider Mittel. Mit anderen Worten: Die Banken sind Händler von Liquidität unterschiedlicher Fristigkeit.[...]