Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sean Flynn

Reader 2

Roberto Pedace

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Rights Information

© 2016 Nia R. Gillenwater


Germany’s position of power within the European Union disguises how impacted the German economy was by the 2008 Financial Crisis and Europe’s subsequent Sovereign Debt Crisis. Two of Germany’s major banks-Commerzbank and Bayerische Landesbank- suffered major losses and required emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to survive. Walter Bagehot wrote the theory underpinning lenders of last resort (LLRs) in 1873 but how has the development of systemically important banks affected the usefulness of Bagehot’s theory? This paper aims to explain why Germany is in need of updated LLR recommendations through an analysis of the ELA Germany at large, Commerzbank and Bayerische Landesbank received. It also aims to empirically prove the stigma and public distrust of ELA through a regression of Commerzbank’s daily stock returns using an augmented Fama/French model. I find that Bagehot’s theory and recommendations are out of date for our current global financial sector. I cannot empirically prove any stigma or public distrust of Commerzbank, there is no relationship between Commerzbank stock returns and the augmented Fama/French factors.