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What is Money?. "When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion." Voltaire. Functions of Money. Store of Value Medium of Exchange Unit of Account. Various Types of Money. Commodity Money Convertible Paper Fiat Money Demand Deposits Electronic Money. Commodity Money.

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What is Money?

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What is money

What is Money?

"When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion." Voltaire

Functions of money

Functions of Money

  • Store of Value

  • Medium of Exchange

  • Unit of Account

Various types of money

Various Types of Money

  • Commodity Money

  • Convertible Paper

  • Fiat Money

  • Demand Deposits

  • Electronic Money

Commodity money

Commodity Money

  • A good that has an alternative use beside that of being money

  • It is accepted because the holder knows he can exchange it later

Commodity money1

Commodity Money

  • Useful Characteristics of Commodity Money

    • Durable

    • Divisible or Maleable

    • Scarce

    • Easily Standardized

    • Easily Transported

    • Widely Accepted

Commodity money2

Commodity Money

  • Examples of Commodity Money

    • Precious Metals (gold, silver, etc.)

    • Barley (ancient Mesopotamia)

    • Salt (ancient Rome, North Africa)

    • Tobacco leaves (Colonial Virginia)

    • Cigarettes, Canned Mackrel (prisons)

    • Wheat Flour (rural USA)

    • Large Stones (Isle of Yap)

Babylonian ring money

Babylonian Ring-money

Salt as money

Salt as Money

  • Pliny the Elder stated as an aside in his Natural History's discussion of sea water, that "[I]n Rome. . .the soldier's pay was originally salt and the word salary derives from it. . ." Plinius Naturalis Historia XXXI.

Stone coins from yap

Stone Coins from Yap

Commodity money3

Commodity Money

  • Uniform weights are a useful in dealing with commodity monies

  • The names of many currencies and measures of value derive from weight measures

Commodity money4

Commodity Money

  • Pound Sterling - Saxon coin minted in 775 with 240 sterlings weighing a pound. Originally large payments were made in "pounds of sterling."

  • Lira - Unit of currency originally issued by Charlemagne and based on a pound (libra) of silver. Still used in Turkey.

Commodity money coins

Commodity Money - Coins

Lydian electrum coins

Commodity money coins1

Commodity Money - Coins

Spanish milled dollar

“Pieces of Eight”

Commodity money coins2

Commodity Money - Coins

Silver Thaler from

St. Joachimsthal

First produced in 1519

Commodity money coins3

Commodity Money - Coins

Silver “Liberty” Dollar, first US coin issued

Banking with commodity money

Banking with Commodity Money

Little more than storage of the commodity

Convertible paper

Convertible Paper

  • Paper claim on some amount of a commodity money

  • Can be converted on demand into gold or silver, for example

  • More convenient for transport

  • Indirect evidence of usage of “drafts” in Babylon, Egypt Greece & Rome.

Convertible paper1

Convertible Paper

  • Genoese bankers 12th & 13th centuries

    • The first [bills of exchange] for which definite evidence exists was a contract issued in Genoa in 1156 to enable two brothers who had borrowed 115 Genoese pounds to reimburse the bank’s agents in Constantinople by paying them 460 bezants one month after their arrival.

Convertible paper2

Convertible Paper

“1000 cash” bill from the Ming dynasty in China.

Issued in 1374 by the Imperial Treasury.

Convertible paper3

Convertible Paper

1720 English Exchequer Bill. These bills were interest-bearing, however they could be used to pay taxes and could be redeemed at the Bank of England. Endorsements on the back indicate that they circulated among the general public as money.

Convertible paper4

Convertible Paper

1860 two-dollar note. Prior to 1914 most paper currency circulating in the US was issued by private banks

Convertible paper5

Convertible Paper

1935 one-dollar silver certificate. This note was issued by the US Treasury and was redeemable for a fixed amount of silver.

Banking with convertible paper

Banking with Convertible Paper

Invention of Fractional Reserve Banking

Bank exchanges banknotes for gold or silver coins (specie)

Bank keeps only a small portion of the specie as reserves and loans the rest out to earn interest

Banking with convertible paper1

Banking with Convertible Paper



Banknotes ($100)

  • Specie ($15)

  • Loans ($85)

Banking with convertible paper2

Banking with Convertible Paper

Banking system creates money by loaning, receiving deposits, and reloaning

Banks are susceptible to bank runs

Fiat money

Fiat Money

  • Money that circulates “by command”

  • It is not explicitly backed by any commodity.

Fiat money1

Fiat Money

“Continentals” were issued by the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War. They were redeemable for gold, but only at a future date.

Fiat money2

Fiat Money

“Greenbacks” were issued by the US Treasury to finance the Civil War. They were not redeemable for gold.

Fiat money3

Fiat Money

Greenbacks could be used by the US government to pay its debts, but the government would not accept them as payment.

Fiat money4

Fiat Money

February 1923 100,000 mark note.

Fiat money5

Fiat Money

Checkable deposit money

Checkable Deposit Money

  • Demand Deposit Accounts

  • Other Checkable Deposits

    • NOW (Negotiable Order of Withdrawal)

    • Credit Union Share Drafts

  • Checkable deposit usage expanded rapidly in the US after 1914 when it became illegal for US banks to issue private banknotes.

Checkable deposits

Checkable Deposits

1665 request to pay £25 15s from an account held with Morris & Clayton, “Scriveners in Cornhill”.

Personal check

Personal Check

Electronic transfer

Electronic Transfer

Banking with checkable deposits

Banking with Checkable Deposits

Bank exchanges checkable deposits for fiat money

Bank keeps only a small portion of in the form of reserves and loans the rest out to earn interest

Banking with checkable deposits1

Banking with Checkable Deposits



Checking Accounts ($100)

  • Cash ($5)

  • CB Deposits ($10)

  • Loans ($85)

Stored value cards

Stored Value Cards

Online money

Online Money

Historical episodes

Historical Episodes

  • ???? – 1871 Bimetallic Standard

  • 1871 – 1913 Classic Gold Standard

  • 1913 – 1945 Interwar Float

  • 1945 – 1973 Bretton Woods

  • 1973 – now Float

Measuring money

Measuring Money

  • Use Monetary Aggregates

    • Monetary Base (M0)

    • M1

    • M2

Monetary aggregates

Monetary Aggregates

  • Monetary Base

    • Currency in circulation

    • Reserves of Commercial Banks

      • Vault Cash

      • Deposits in the Central Banking System

      • less adjustments for float

Us monetary aggregates

US Monetary Aggregates

  • Monetary Base (June 16, 2010)

  • $2006.2 billion

    • Currency - $880.0 billion

    • Bank Reserves - $1101.6

      • Vault Cash – $52.3

      • Deposits at Fed – $1063.3

Monetary aggregates1

Monetary Aggregates

  • M1

    • Currency in circulation

    • Traveler’s Checks

    • Demand Deposits (Banks)

    • Other Checkable Deposits

Monetary aggregates2

Monetary Aggregates

  • M2

    • M1

    • Small Time Deposits

    • Savings Deposits

    • Retail Money Funds

      • Repurchase Agreements

      • Money Market Deposit Accounts

      • Money Market Mutual Funds

      • Etc.

Money in korea

Money in Korea

  • Cash

  • Checks and Bills

  • Funds Transfers (backed by bank accounts)

    • Giro, ITF, CD/ATM, Internet banking, Telebanking

  • Payment Cards

    • M/S vs IC

  • Stored-value Cards

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