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The Banking System and the Money Supply

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1 The Banking System and the Money Supply

2 What Counts as Money Definition of Money Money is an asset that is widely accepted as a means of payment Only assets can be considered as money Can credit cards be considered as money? Only things that are widely acceptable as a means of payment are regarded as money Can stocks or bonds be considered as money? Money has three useful functions Serves as a medium of exchange accepted in exchange for goods and services Provides a unit of account Standardized way of measuring value of things that are traded Serves as a store of value One of several ways in which households can hold their wealth

3 History of Currency In a barter economy, where there is no commonly accepted currency : cows, sheep, fish… Commodity money (with intrinsic value) like precious metals: gold, silver, copper,etc. Paper currency used to be backed by physical commodity Now, we have ‘fiat’ money, i.e. a means of payment by government declaration. Legal tender – payment that cannot be refused in settlement of a debt denominated in the same currency by virtue of law.

4 Measuring the Money Supply
Total amount of money held by the public Governments use different measures of the money supply Each measure includes a selection of assets that are widely acceptable as a means of payment and are relatively liquid An asset is considered liquid if it can be converted to cash quickly and at little cost So, an illiquid asset can be converted to cash only after a delay, or at considerable cost

5 Assets and Their Liquidity
Most liquid asset is cash in the hands of the public Next in line are asset categories of about equal liquidity Checkable deposits (demand deposits and other checking accounts) Travelers checks Then, savings-type accounts less liquid than checking-type accounts, since they do not allow you to write checks Next on the list are time deposits Time deposits (called certificates of deposit, or CDs) Require you to keep your money in the bank for a specified period of time (usually six months or longer) Impose an interest penalty if you withdraw early

6 M1 And M2 Standard measure of money stock (supply) is M1
M1 = cash in the hands of the public + checkable deposits + travelers checks When economists or government officials speak about “money supply,” they usually mean M1 Another common measure of money supply, M2, adds some other types of assets to M1 M2 = M1 + savings-type accounts + small denomination time deposits M3=M2+large denomination time deposits

7 The Banking System: Financial Intermediaries
What are banks? Financial intermediaries—business firms that specialize in Collecting loanable funds from households and firms whose revenues exceed their expenditures Channeling those funds to households and firms (and sometimes the government) whose expenditures exceed revenues Intermediaries must earn a profit for providing brokering services By charging a higher interest rate on funds they lend than rate they pay to depositors

8 Figure 1: The Geography of the Federal Reserve System

9 Figure 2: The Structure of the Federal Reserve System

10 The Federal Open Market Committee
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) A committee of Federal Reserve officials that establishes U.S. monetary policy Consists of all 7 governors of Fed, along with 5 of the 12 district bank presidents Not even President of United States knows details behind the decisions, or what FOMC actually discussed at its meeting, until summary of meeting is finally released The FOMC exerts control over nation’s money supply by buying and selling bonds in public (“open”) bond market

11 A Bank’s Balance Sheet A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides information about financial conditions of a bank at a particular point in time On one side, a bank’s assets are listed Everything of value that it owns Property and buildings Bonds Loans Vault cash Account with the Federal Reserve On the other side, the bank’s liabilities are listed Amounts it owes Deposits Net worth = Total assets – Total liabilities What bank would owe to its owners if it went out of business A balance sheet always balances

12 A Bank’s Balance Sheet Explanations for vault cash and accounts with Federal Reserve On any given day, some of the bank’s customers might want to withdraw more cash than other customers are depositing Banks are required by law to hold reserves Sum of cash in vault and accounts with Federal Reserve Required reserve ratio tells banks the fraction of their checking accounts that they must hold as required reserves Set by Federal Reserve

13 The Fed and the Money Supply
Suppose Fed wants to change nation’s money supply It buys or sells government bonds to bond dealers, banks, or other financial institutions Actions are called open market operations We’ll make two special assumptions to keep our analysis of open market operations simple for now Households and business are satisfied holding the amount of cash they are currently holding Any additional funds they might acquire are deposited in their checking accounts Any decrease in their funds comes from their checking accounts Banks never hold reserves in excess of those legally required by law

14 How the Fed Increases the Money Supply
To increase money supply, Fed will buy government bonds Called an open market purchase Suppose, by writing a check, Fed buys $1,000 bond from Lehman Brothers, which deposits the total into its checking account Two important things have happened Fed has injected reserve into banking system Money supply has increased Demand deposits have increased by $1,000 and demand deposits are part of money supply (for instance, M1) Lehman Brothers’ bank now has excess reserves Reserves in excess of required reserves If required reserve ratio is 10% bank has excess reserves of $900 to lend Demand deposits increase each time a bank lends out excess reserves

15 The Demand Deposit Multiplier
How much will demand deposits increase in total? Each bank creates less in demand deposits than the bank before In each round, a bank lends 90% of deposit it received So, the total increase in demand deposits is Whatever the injection of reserves, demand deposits will increase by a factor of 10, so we can write ΔDD = 10 x reserve injection

16 The Demand Deposit Multiplier
For any value of required reserve ratio (RRR), formula for demand deposit multiplier is 1/RRR Using general formula for demand deposit multiplier, can restate what happens when Fed injects reserves into banking system as follows ΔDD = (1 / RRR) x ΔReserves With the assumption that the amount of cash in the hands of the public (the other component of the money supply) does not change, we can also write ΔMoney Supply = (1 / RRR) x ΔReserves

17 How the Fed Decreases the Money Supply
Just as Fed can decrease money supply by selling government bonds An open market sale Banks have to call in loans in order to meet the required reserve amount with Fed Process of calling in loans will involve many banks Each time a bank calls in a loan, demand deposits are destroyed Total decline in demand deposits will be a multiple of initial withdrawal of reserves Using demand deposit multiplier—1/(RRR), we can calculate the decrease in money supply with the same formula ΔDD = (1/RRR) x Δreserves This time, the change in reserve is negative

18 Some Important Provisos About the Demand Deposit Multiplier
Although process of money creation and destruction as we’ve described it illustrates the basic ideas, formula for demand deposit multiplier—1/RRR—is oversimplified In reality, multiplier is likely to be smaller than formula suggests, for two reasons We’ve assumed that as money supply changes, public does not change its holdings of cash We’ve assumed that banks will always lend out all of their excess reserves

19 Other Tools for Controlling the Money Supply
There are two other tools Fed can use to increase or decrease money supply Changes in required reserve ratio Changes in discount rate Changes in either required reserve ratio or discount rate could set off the process of deposit creation or deposit destruction in much the same way outlined in this chapter In reality, neither of these policy tools is used very often Why are these other tools used so seldom? Partly because they can have unpredictable effects

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