After the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire, leaders in successor states were eager to become economically independent from the former capital Vienna. They therefore quickly implemented a set of neomercantilistic measures, especially nationalization programs. Nevertheless, the 1920s saw a reestablishment of the common market in the former territories of the Habsburg Empire in terms of interregional trade and interlocking directorates, mainly because of the business strategy of international financial syndicates that were based on the traditional Viennese commercial relations with the successor states. The international credit of Jewish bankers like Louis Rothschild, Rudolf Sieghart, and Max Feilchenfeld and others mattered. After the “Big Bang” at Wall Street in 1929, the industrial holdings of the Viennese banks and the maturity problem (short-term borrowing, long-term lending) in their relations to East European debtors and Western financiers caused the Creditanstalt-crisis of 1931 and put an end to Vienna’s position as a financial hub in East Central Europe. However, even during the crisis of the 1930s, the share of the successor states in the bilateral balances of trade indicates path dependency on a smaller scale.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited