Quote of the Day for October 22, 2014

295: From Hume, Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, Part II, Essay IX, OF PUBLIC CREDIT:

    Public securities are with us become a kind of money, andpass as readily at the current price as gold or silver. Whereverany profitable undertaking offers itself, how expensive soever,there are never wanting hands enow to embrace it; nor need atrader, who has sums in the public stocks, fear to launch outinto the most extensive trade; since he is possessed of funds,which will answer the most sudden demand that can be made uponhim. No merchant thinks it necessary to keep by him anyconsiderable cash. Bank-stock, or India-bonds, especially thelatter, serve all the same purposes; because he can dispose ofthem, or pledge them to a banker, in a quarter of an hour; and atthe same time they are not idle, even when in his scritoire, butbring him in a constant revenue. In short, our national debtsfurnish merchants with a species of money, that is continuallymultiplying in their hands, and produces sure gain, besides theprofits of their commerce. This must enable them to trade uponless profit. The small profit of the merchant renders thecommodity cheaper, causes a greater consumption, quickens thelabour of the common people, and helps to spread arts andindustry throughout the whole society.

    II.IX.8 (paragraph number)

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