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Financial crises have had a decisive influence on banking regulations in Spain. During the mid-19th century the publication of the financial statements of banks was considered key to the stability of the financial system. All new joint stock banking companies were to publish their statements in the Madrid Gazette in return for the privilege of limited liability. Similar obligations were placed on issuing banks. The copious publication of financial statements coincided with a period of financial prosperity. However, the crises that followed from 1864 to 1868 led to a reduction in the official publication of statements. This paper is concerned with an early response to crises in financial reporting. The study focuses on the relationship between the publication of accounting statements by banks and the GDP in Spain during the mid-19th century. The results suggest that the frequency of publication of financial statements may be an indicator of economic performance.



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