MONEY AND BANKING
(ДЕНЬГИ И БАНКОВСКОЕ ДЕЛО)
Money and its Funсtions. Деньги, их функции.
Although the crucial feature of money is its acceptance as the means of payment оr medium of exchange, money has other functions. It serves as a standard of-value, a unit of account, a store of value and ft a standard of deferred payment. We discuss each of the functions of money in turn.
The Medium of Exchange. Средство обращения.
Money, the medium of exchange, is used in one-half of almost аЦ exchange. Workers exchange labour services for money. People buy and sell goods in exchange for money. We accept money not to consume it directly but because it can subsequently be used to pay things we do wish to consume. Money is the medium through, which people exchange goods and services.
To see that society benefits from a medium of exchange, imagine a barter economy.
A barter economy has no medium of exchange. Goods are traded directly or swapped for other goods.
In a barter economy, the seller and the buyer each must
want something the other has to offer. Each person is simultaneously
a seller and a buyer. In order to see a film, you must hand over
in exchange a good or service that the cinema manager wants.
There has to be a double coincidence of wants. You have to
find a cinema where the manager wants what you have to offer in
Trading is very expensive in a barter economy. People must spend a tot of time and effort finding others with whom they can make mutually satisfactory swaps. Since time and effort are scarce resources, a barter economy is wasteful. The use of monеу - any commodity generally accepted in payment for goods, services, and debts - makes the trading process simpler and more efficient.
Other Functions of Моnеу. Другие функции денег
Money can also serve as a standard of value. Society considers it convenient to use a monetary unit to determine relative costs of different goods and services. In this function money appears as the unit of account, is the unit in which prices are quoted and accounts are kept.
In Russia prices are quoted in roubles; in Britain, in pounds sterling; in the USA, in US dollars; in France, in French francs. It is usually convenient to use the units in which the medium of exchange is measured as the unit of account as well. However there are exceptions. During the rapid German inflation of 1922 - 1923 when prices in marks were changing very quickly, German shopkeepers found it more convenient to use dollars as the unit of account. Prices were quoted in dollars even though payment was made in marks, the German medium of exchange.
The situation in Russia nowadays reminds of that of in Germany.
Money is a store of value because it can be used to make purchases in the future.
To be accepted in exchange, money has to be a store of value. Nobody would accept money as payment for goods supplied today if the money was going to be worthless when they tried to buy goods with it tomorrow. But money is neither the only nor necessarily the best store of value. Houses, stamp collections, and interest-bearing bank accounts all serve as stores of value. Since money pays no interest and its real purchasing power is eroded by inflation, there are almost certainly better ways to store value.
Finally, money serves as a standard of deferred payment or a unit of account over time. When you borrow, the amount to be repaid next year is measured in pounds sterling or in some other hard currency. Although convenient, this is not an essential function of money. UK citizens can get bank loans specifying in dollars the amount that must be repaid next year. Thus the key feature of money is its use as a medium of exchange. For this, it must act as a store of value as well. And it is usually, though not invariably, convenient to make money the unit of account and standard of deferred payment as well.
Different Kinds of Money. Различные виды денег
In prisoner-of-war camps, cigarettes served as money. In the 19th century money was mainly gold and silver coins. These are examples of commodity money, ordinary goods with industrial uses (gold) and consumption uses (cigarettes), which also serve as a medium of exchange. To use a commodity money, society must either cut back on other uses of that commodity or devote scarce resources to producing additional quantities of the commodity. But there are less expensive ways for society to produce money.
A token money is a means of payment whose value or purchasing power as money greatly exceeds its cost of production or value in uses other than as money.
A $10 note, is worth far more as money than as a 3 x 6 inch piece of high-quality paper. Similarly, the monetary value of most coins exceeds the amount you would get by melting them down and selling off the metals they contain. By collectively agreeing to use token money, society economizes on the scarce resources required to produce money as a medium of exchange. Since the manufacturing costs are tiny, why doesn't everyone make $10 notes?
The essential condition for the survival of token money is the restriction of the right to supply it. Private production is illegal:
Society enforces the use of token money by making it legal tender. The law says it must be accepted as a means of payment.
In modern economies, token money is supplemented by IOU money.
An IOU money is a medium of exchange based on the debt of a private firm or individual.
A bank deposit is IOU money because it is a debt of the bank. When you have a bank deposit the bank owes you money. You can write a cheque to yourself or a third party and the bank is obliged to pay whenever the cheque is presented. Bank deposits are a medium of exchange because they are generally accepted as payment.
the means of payment - средство платежа
medium of exchange - средство обращения
a standard of value - мера стоимости
a unit of account - единица учета
a store of value - средство сбережения (сохранения стоимости)
a standard of deferred payment - средство погашения долга
subsequently - впоследствии
a barter economy - бартерная экономика
to swap (also swop; syn. to exchange, to barter) - обменивать, менять
to hand over in exchange - передать, вручить в обмен
a double coincidence of wants - двойное совпадение потребностей
a monetary unit - денежная единица
to remind of - напоминать
to be worthless - обесцениваться
an interest-bearing bank account - счет в банке с выплатой процентов
to pay interest - приносить процентный доход
to erode - зд. фактически уменьшать
hard currency - твердая (конвертируемая) валюта
soft currency - неконвертируемая валюта
invariably - неизменно, постоянно
prisoner-of-war camp - лагерь военнопленных
commodity money - деньги - товар
token money - символические деньги (дензнаки)
inch - дюйм (равен 2,5 см)
to melt down - расплавить
tiny costs - мизерные затраты
legal tender - законное платежное средство
to supplement - дополнять
IOU money - I owe you - я вам должен; деньги - долговое обязательство
a bad deposit - вклад в банке
THE ROLE OF BANKS (РОЛЬ БАНКОВ)
The following story is going to explain the role of banks. In the past most societies used different objects as money. Some of these were valuable because they were rare and beautiful, others- because they could be eaten or used. Early forms of money like these were used to buy goods. They were also used to pay for marriages, fines and debts. But although everyday objects were extremely practical kinds of cash in many ways, they had some disadvantages, too. For example, it was difficult to measure their value accurately, divide some of them into a -wide range of amounts, keep some of them for a long time, use them to make financial plans for the future. For reasons such as these, some societies began to use another kind of money, that is, precious metals.
People used gold, gold bullion, as money. Those were dangerous times, and people wanted a safe place to keep their gold. So they deposited it with goldsmiths, people who worked with gold for jewellery and so on and also had a guarded vault to keep it safe in. And when people wanted some of their gold to pay for things with, they went and fetched it from the goldsmith.
Two developments turned these goldsmiths into bankers. The first was that people found it a lot easier to give the seller a letter than it was to fetch some gold and then physically hand it over to him. This letter transferred some of the gold they bad at the goldsmith's to the seller. This letter we would nowadays call a cheque. And, of course, once these letters or cheques, became acceptable as a way of paying for goods, people felt that the gold they had deposited with the goldsmith, was just as good as gold in their own pockets. And as letters or cheques, were easier to carry around than gold, and a lot less dangerous, people started to say that their money holdings were what they had with them plus their deposits. So a system of deposits was started. The second development was that goldsmiths realized they had a great deal of unused gold lying in their vaults doing nothing. This development was actually of greater importance than the first.
Now let's turn to the first bank loan ever and see what happened. A firm asked a goldsmith for a loan. The goldsmith realized that some of the gold in his vault could be lent to the firm, and of course he asked the firm to pay it back later with a little interest. Of course, at that moment the goldsmith was short of gold, it wasn't actually his gold, but he reckoned it was unlikely that everyone who had deposited gold with him would want it back at the same time, at any rate - not before the firm had repaid him his gold with a little interest. He thought it safe enough.
To understand what actually happened in this simple transaction let's consider the following table.
Таbl. 6. Goldsmiths as bankers
1. Old-fashioned goldsmith
2. Gold lender
3. Deposit lender Step 1
4. Deposit lender Step 2
Gold $90 + loan 10 Gold $l00 + loan $10 Gold $90+loan $10
The first row shows what the goldsmith did before he made this loan- He had a hundred dollars of gold, which he owed to the people who had deposited it with him, so his assets and liabilities were the same. But when he lent, say, $10 of gold to the firm, he actually had only $90 of gold in his vault plus the value of his loan. His assets still equalled his liabilities, but he was going to get some interest
It so happened that the firm, that took out the loan, didn't really want to carry that $10 of gold around, so It asked me goldsmith if, instead of actually taking the gold, it could be given a deposit. The third row of Tabl. 6 shows what happened then. Although the goldsmith's assets and liabilities were the same, but were then worth $110, not $100. When the firm wrote a cheque for $10, and that person came in to collect his $10 worth of gold, the goldsmith's assets failed, but so did his liabilities (the fourth row of the table). The important point to notice here is that it made no difference to the goldsmith whether his initial loan was in actual gold or in a form of a deposit.
Now let's turn to the question of reserves. Reserves are the amount of gold that is immediately available in the vault to meet depositors' demands. People originally deposited $100 of gold with the goldsmith. The goldsmith lent $10, leaving himself with $90. As a banker he was relying on the fact that not everyone would want their gold back at the same time. If they had done, be couldn't have paid out. His reserves of $90 were not enough.
The goldsmith in the table has a 100% reserve ratio. The reserve ratio is the ratio of reserves to deposits. Once he has made his loan, he has a 90% deposit ratio. This is a small risk with a small profit. How much dare he lend out in order to make a profit through his interest charges? What are the risks involved? Suppose the goldsmith took too much of a risk. He lent 80% of the gold he had. This panicked people. They doubted he could pay them all back, he was bound to lose some of the gold he had lent, so they rushed to get their gold back before it was too late. That was what we would now call a run on the bank, a financial panic. And the financial panic leads to exactly what people fear: the bank cannot pay them, goes bankrupt, and they go bankrupt as well.