2013년 6월 14일 금요일

[발췌 2장: Keynes's Treatise on Money] #2. Bank-Money

출처: J. M. Keynes, A Treatise on Money (October 31, 1930)

※ 발췌 / excerpts which:

Chapter 2. Bank-Money

(1) The "Creation" of Bank-Money  (p. 23)

We have seen in the preceding chapter how the transference of claims to money may be just as serviceable for the settlement of transactions as the transference of money itself. It follows that members of the public, when they have assured themselves that this is so, will often be content with the ownership of transferable claims without seeking to turn them into cash. Moreover there are many conveniences and incidental advantages in handling bank-money over handling cash.

  A modern bank is an institution which is made possible by the establishment of habits of this kind. Historically a bank may have been evolved from a business which dealt in the precious metals or in the remittance of money from one country to another, or which offered its services as an intermediary to arrange loans or for the sage custody of valuables, or which borrowed the savings of the public on the security of its reputation and then invested them at its own discretion and at its own risk.[1] But we shall be concerned in what follows with banks of the fully developed modern type existing as going concern.
[1] For the actual origins in England see R.D. Richards, "The Pioneers of Banking in England" (^Economic Journal History Supplements^, Jan. 1929).
  Such a bank creates claims against itself for the delivery of money, i.e. what, hereafter, we shall call Deposits, in two ways. In the first place it creates them in favour of individual depositors against value received in the shape either of cash or of an order (i.e. a cheque) authorising the transfer of a deposit in some bank (either another bank or itself). A member of the public comes along with cash in his pocket or with a cheque drawn on a bank, which he hands in on the understanding that he is entitled in return to a claim to cash (i.e. a deposit) which he can either exercise or transfer to someone else.

  But there is a second way in which a bank may create a claim against itself. It may itself purchase assets, i.e. add to its investments, and pay for them in the first instance at least, by establishing a claim against itself. Or the bank may create a claim against itself in favour of a borrower, in return for his promise of subsequent reimbursement; i.e. it may make loans or advances. [1]
[1] An analogous distinction has been made by Prof. C.A. Phillips (^Bank Credit^, p. 40) between what he terms "primary" and "secondary" deposits.
  In ^both^ cases the bank creates the deposits; for only the bank itself can authorise the creation of a deposit in its books entitling the customer to draw cash or transfer his claim to the order of someone else; and there is no difference between the two except in the nature of the inducement offered to the bank to create the deposit. 

  It follows that a bank in active business will be, on the one hand, continually creating deposits either for value received or against promises, and, on the other hand, cancelling deposits, because claims against it are being exercised in cash or transferred to other banks. Thus it is constantly receiving cash and paying out cash; and it is constantly receiving claims ^against^ other banks and having to meet claims ^from^ other banks.

  Now it is evident that the bank must conduct its business that these opposite processes can be approximately offset one another, i.e. so that the amount of cash paid out day by day together with the amount of the claims from other banks are not very different from the amount of cash received together with the amount of claims against other banks. The practical problem of the banker consists, therefore, in so managing his affairs that his daily accruing assets in the shape of cash and claims shall be as nearly as possible equal to his daily accruing liabilities in these forms.

  It follows that the rate at which the bank can, with safety, ^actively^ create deposits by lending and investing has to be in a proper relation to the rate at which it is ^passively^ creating them against the receipt of liquid resources from its depositors. For the latter increase the bank's reserves even if only a part of them is ultimately retained by the bank, whereas the former diminish the reserves even if only a part of them is paid away to the customers of other banks; indeed we might express our conclusion more strongly than this, since the borrowing customers generally borrow with the intention of paying away at once the deposits thus created in their favour, whereas the depositing customers often have no such intention.

  Practical bankers, like Dr. Walter Leaf, have drawn from this the conclusion that for the banking system as a whole the initiative lies with the depositors, and that the banks can lend no more that their depositors have previously entrusted to them. But economist cannot accept his as being the commonsense which it pretends to be. I will, therefore, endeavour to make obvious a matter which need not, surely, be obscure. [1]
[1] See F.W. Cric, "The Genesis of Bank Deposits", ^Economica^, June 1927, for a good attempt to make the point clear. See also for an able, but somewhat prolix, discussion of the topic of this chapte. Prof. C.A. Phillips's ^Bank Credit^.
  Even if we look at the matter from the standpoint of one bank amongst many, it is apparent that the rate at which a bank passively creates deposits partly depends on the rate at which it is actively creating them. For although the borrowing customers will probably pay away promptly the proceeds of their loans, some of those to whom they pay them may be depositors-customers of the same bank. To the extent that this occurs, so far from the actively-created deposits being the offspring of the passively-created deposits, it is the other way round. This illustrates in little what is happening to the banking system as a whole. For to the extent that the borrowing customers pay away their deposits to the customers of other banks, these other banks find themselves strengthened by the growth of their passively-created deposits to the same extent that the first bank has been weakened; and in the same way our own bank finds itself strengthened whenever the other banks are actively creating deposits. So that a part of its passively-created deposits, even when they are not the offspring of its own actively-created deposits, is nevertheless the offspring of the actively-created deposits of the other banks.

  If we suppose a closed banking system, which has no relations with the outside world, in a country where all payments are made by cheque and no cash is used, and if we assume further that the banks do not find it necessary in such circumstances to hold any cash reserves but settle inter-bank indebtedness by the transfer of other assets, it is evident that there is no limit to the amount of bank-money which banks can safely create provided that they move forward in step. The words italicised are the clue to the behaviour of the system. Every movement forward by an individual bank weakens it, but every such movement by one of its neighbour banks strengthens it; so that if all move forward together, no one is weakened on balance. Thus the bahaviour of each bank though it cannot afford to move more than a step in advance of the others, will be governed by the average behaviour of the banks as a wholeㅡto which average, however, it is able to contribute its quota small or large. Each Bank Chairman sitting in his parlour may regard himself as the passive instrument of outside forces over which he has no control; yet the "outside forces" may be nothing but himself and his fellow-chairmen, and certainly not his depositors.

  A monetary system of this kind would possess an inherent instability; for any event which tended to influence the behaviour of the majority of the banks in the same direction whether backwards or forwards, would meet with no resistance and would be capable of setting up a violent movement of the whole system. We shall see that actual monetary systems are not generally as bad as this and that checks on their inherent instability have been devised. Nevertheless this tendency towards sympathetic movement on the part of the individual elements within a banking system is always present to a certain extent and has to be reckoned with. Moreover, where the conditions for a "closed" system are satisfied, as in the case of a country having an inconvertible paper currency or in the case of the world as a whole, the tendency to instability by reason of sympathetic movement is a characteristic of the utmost practical importance.

  In the hypothetical case just considered, we have assumed that all payments are made by cheque and that the member banks are under no obligation or necessity to maintain cash reserves. These limitations we must now remove. If some payments are made by cash, the amount of cash so used will generally bearsome proportion, more or less stable, to the amount of bank-money. In this case the creation of more bank-money by the banks as a whole will lead to a drain of cash out of the banks as a whole, which will set a limit to the extent that the banks can afford to create bank-money unless they are in a position to obtain command of an increased quantity of cash.

  But any given banker will not only require cash to meet such a contingency. Even when he is moving in step with his neighbours, there will be day-to-day differences between his claims on them and their claims on him, and the magnitude of these daily differences will partly depend on the scale of his business, which may be roughly measured by the volume of his deposits. Accordingly, in order to deal with the inevitable minor discrepancies which are bound to occur over short periods, a banker will always maintain some liquid resources in hand, partly in the form of cash and partly in the form of deposits with some other bank or banksㅡwhich resources, called his "reserves", rise and fall with the volume of his deposits and sometimes, by law or customs, are in rigid ratio to them. To deal with inter-bank claims, the banks had set up an office called the Clearing House, which calculates each day how much is due on balance to (or from) any bank from (or to) other banks. For the purpose of settling the eventual differences cash could, if necessary, be used; but as a matter of convenience the banks generally accept for the purpose of day-to-day settlements a claim on a single selected bankㅡthe Banker's Bank as it is sometimes calledㅡwhich is usually the Central or State Bank. Moreover a Central Bank deposits is not only available to meet Clearing House differences, but can also be encashed when the cash portion of a bank's reserves need replenishment.

  A bank must, therefore, first of all decide what amount of reserves it will be prudent to aim atㅡor, sometimes, it has this matter decided for it by law. The figure, which we shall discuss in detail in Volume II, depend partly on the habits of the depositors, as governed by the practices of the country and of the period and by the class of business conducted by the particular bank's clients, and partly on the scale of the bank's business which for this purpose is generally measured by the amount of its deposits. Thus each bank fixes in its own mind on a certain proportion of its deposits (e.g. 10%) which it will aim at keeping in reserveㅡa proportion which is not necessarily the same for different banks and which a given bank may vary at different seasons or from time to time, unless the law forces uniformly on them. Having fixed on this proportion, the bank will then be as unwilling to see its reserve rise above it, since this generally means that it is doing less profitable business than it might, as to see them fall below it. Consequently it will be actively creating deposits by lending and investing on a smaller or on a larger scale, according as its reserves, apart from day-to-day fluctuations, are showing a tendency to diminish or to increase.

  We now perceive that there exists, not only the check on individual banks that they must keep step, but also a check on the banks as a whole. For if the banks as a whole are creating deposits at a rate which will cause the reserves as a whole to fall too low, some bankers will find their reserve-ratios deficient and will, therefore, be compelled to take a step backwards; whilst if the aggregate deposits are below their normal ratio to reserves, some banks will find their reserve-ratios excessive and will be stimulated to take a step forwards. Thus it is the aggregate of the reserve-resources which determines the "pace" which is common to the banking system as a whole.

  To pursue the argument to the further point of discovering what determines the aggregate of the reserve-resources of the member banks would be to anticipate subsequent chapters. But the elements of the problem may as well be stated here.

  Assuming that the Central Bank is also the note-issuing authority, the aggregate reserve-resources of the member banks will be under the control of the Central Bank, provided the latter can control the aggregate of its note-issue and its deposits. In this case the Central Bank is the conductor of the orchestra and sets the tempo. It may be, however, that the amount of deposits created by the Central Bank itself is placed by law or custom outside its deliberate control, being regulated by some rigid rule, in which case we might describe it as an "automatic" system. Finally, it may be that the Member Banks themselves have some power, perhaps within limits, of increasing at will their deposits with the Central Bank or the amount of the notes which they draw out of it note-issuing departments. In this case, sympathetic movements on the part of the Member Banks will gather strength as they go and provide their own food in the shape of increased reserve-resources, with the result that it will be difficult to restrain the inherent instability of the system.


I have endeavoured to say enough to show that the familiar controversy as to how and by whom bank-deposits are "created" is a somewhat unreal one. There can be no doubt that, in the most convenient use of language, all deposits are "created" by the bank holding them. It is certainly not the case that the banks are limited to that kind of deposit, for the creation of which it is necessary that depositors should come on their initiative bringing cash or cheques. But it is equally clear that the rate at which an individual bank creates deposits on its own initiative is subject to certain rules and limitations;ㅡit must keep step with the other banks and cannot raise its own deposits relatively to the total deposits out of proportion to its quota of the banking business of the country. Finally, the "pace" common to all the Member Banks is governed by the aggregate of their reserve-resources.

(2) Current Money Is Predominantly Bank-Money  (p. 31)

The proportionate importance of State-Money and of Member Bank-Money, created as above, in making up the aggregate of Current Money varies widely at different periods and in different countries, according to the stage which has been reached in the evolution of monetary practices. But the tendency is towards a preponderant importance for Bank-Moneyㅡwhich in such countries as Great Britain and the United States constitutes perhaps 9/10 of the aggregate of Current Moneyㅡand towards State-Money occupying a definitely subsidiary position.

  It will, therefore, simplify the argument, without seriously detracting from its generality, if we assume not only that all the Central Bank-Money is held by the Member Banks, but also that ^all the Current Money in the hands of the public is Member Bank-Money, i.e. Bank Deposits^. This simplified version does not, of course, represent the actual facts. But it will save many unnecessary words and is easily adapted to the actual facts. Moreover, the consequences of such an assumption will be nearly identical with the actual facts, in so far as the ^proportions^, in which the total stock of State-Money is held by the Public, the Member Banks and the Central Bank, tend to be constant. When the actual facts differ from this simplified scheme in a relevant way, I will do my best to bring them back again into the picture.

  In the case of the United States fairly exact estimates are available as to the proportion of demand-deposits, or as I shall call them, cash-deposits, to notes and coin circulating outside the banks and in the hands of the public, as follows:

[1] The figures for cash-deposits are taken from Mitchell, ^Business Cycles^, p. 126, and those for money in circulation outside the banks from ^The Review of Economic Statistics^, July 1927, p. 136.
Thus, even during the 8 years following the war, the proportion of actual cash to the total of cash and cash-deposits in the United States fell from about 1/6 to as little as 1/8. Since, as we shall see subsequently, cash-deposits are turned over much faster than cash, the preponderance of the former in terms of the volume of payments effected would be even greater. If we include time-deposits we find that State-Money held by the Public is less than 10% of Current Money.

  In the case of Great Britain we are thrown back on more precarious guesses. But I estimate that in 1926-28 cash-deposits (i.e. excluding fixed deposits) in Great Britain may have been £1,075,000,000 and notes circulating in the hands of the public £250,000,000, in which case the latter were 19% of the total, or say, 1/5. Including fixed deposits, we find that, as in the United States, State-Money held by the Public is about 10% of Current Money.

  Thus in Great Britain and the United Statesㅡand also increasingly elsewhereㅡthe use of Bank-Money is now so dominant that much less confusion will be caused by treating this as typical and the use of other kinds of currency as secondary, than by treating State-Money as typical and bringing in Bank-Money as a subsequent complication. The latter practice, which has outstayed the facts, leads to insufficient emphasis being placed on some of the most typical features of modern economy, and to its essential characteristics being treated as anomalous or exceptional.

p. 33.

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