The Rationale of Central Banking and the Free Banking Alternative

Smith, Vera C.
(1912-1976)
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Editor/Trans.
First Pub. Date
1936
Publisher/Edition
Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc.
LibertyPress
Pub. Date
1990
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Appendix
On the Working of the "Automatic Mechanism" of Credit Control

App.1

In order to make clear the argument on pp. 178-184 of the last chapter we append the following arithmetical example:

1. THE NOTE–ISSUING CASE

App.2

Assume that there are two banks (or groups of banks), A and B. Both carry on the same volume of business in the first instance. Each lends 10,000 and has 10,000 loans falling due on each settlement day.

App.3

A now increases its lending on a given day by 10,000 and all these extra loans fall due for repayment four clearing periods later, so that there are three clearings in between. Assume further (a) that if B draws gold from A, B does not immediately increase its note issue to the extent that would bring its reserve ratio back to its former level, but only to the extent necessary to replace the notes that have not come in as usual, but have stayed out in the circulation (this merely makes it possible for it to lend currently the same amount as before); (b) that A correspondingly reduces its outstanding note issue by the amount of the loss of gold, that is, by the amount of extra notes it has returned to it by B through the clearings. Then the total note issue outstanding of A and B together remains the same throughout the period under consideration.

Original Position
A. B.
Notes 40,000 40,000
Gold 4,000 4,000
Loan Repayments 10,000 10,000

A receives 5,000 of its own notes and 5,000 of B's.
B " " " " A's.
Notes are therefore cleared without any transfer of gold.

App.4

Position at First Clearing after A's Expansion
A. B.
Notes 50,000 40,000
Gold 4,000 4,000
Loan Repayments 10,000 10,000

A receives 5,555 of its own notes and 4,444 of B's.
B " 4,444 " 5,555 " A's.
B draws 1,111 gold from A.

App.5

Second Clearing
A. B.
Notes 48,889 41,111
Gold 2,889 5,111
Loan Repayments 10,000 10,000

A receives 5,433 of its own notes and 4,567 of B's.
B " 4,567 " 5,433 " A's.
B draws 826 gold from A.

App.6

Third Clearing
A. B.
Notes 48,063 41,937
Gold 2,063 5,937
Loan Repayments 10,000 10,000

A receives 5,341 of its own notes and 4,659 of B's.
B " 4,659 " 5,341 " A's.
B draws 682 gold from A.

App.7

Fourth Clearing
A. B.
Notes 47,381 42,619
Gold 1,381 6,619
Loan Repayments 20,000 10,000

A receives 10,530 of its own notes and 9,470 of B's.
B " 4,735 " 5,265 " A's.
B loses 4,205 gold to A.

App.8

At the end of the fourth clearing the position is:
A. B.
Notes 51,586 38,414
Gold 5,586 2,414

2. THE DEPOSIT CREDIT CASE

App.9

We may assume in this case that the recipients of checks paid out by the borrowers of the additional 10,000 pay these checks into their banks for collection immediately. It is reasonable to suppose, unless there is an uneven distribution of deposit business between the two banks, that half of these checks will be paid into each bank.

Original Position
A. B.
Deposits 40,000 40,000
Cash 4,000 4,000

App.10

Position at First Clearing
A. B.
Deposits 50,000 40,000
Cash 4,000 4,000

B receives 5,000 in checks drawn on A against which there is no counterclaim of A on B; B therefore claims 5,000 in cash from A.

App.11

The position after the first clearing is already untenable for A:
A. B.
Deposits 45,000 45,000
Cash -1,000 8,000 + 1,000

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