The “accounting view” of money: money as equity (Part II)

Partly I of the blog, we discussed the implications in our suggested “Accounting View” of cash because it pertains to legal tender. Within this part and subsequently, we talk about the implications from the new approach, with specific mention of the commercial bank money.

Bank deposits and central bank reserves

After lengthy as being a tenet of publish-Keynesian theories of cash,1 even mainstream financial aspects has finally recognized that commercial banks aren’t simple intermediaries of already established money they’ve created their very own money by issuing liabilities by means of sight deposits (McLeay, Radia, and Thomas 2014).2

If banks create money, they don’t need to raise deposits to lend or sell (Werner 2014). Still, they have to make use from the cash and reserves essential to guarantee cash withdrawals from clients and settle obligations with other banks emanating from client instructions to mobilize deposits to create payments and transfers.

The appropriate payment orders are just individuals between clients of various banks, because the settlement of payments between clients of the identical bank (“on us” payments) doesn’t need using reserves and happens by simply debiting and crediting accounts held around the books from the bank.

For money withdrawals and interbank payments, every bank must determine the perfect sum of money and reserves required to cover deposits. These contain:

  • Cash reserves and reserves deposited using the central bank
  • Reserves from settlement of incoming payments using their company banks
  • Borrowings in the interbank market
  • Borrowings in the central bank
  • Immediate liquidation of unencumbered assets within the balance sheet

New deposits of money from new and old clients (since new, noncash deposits from clients are only able to contain deposits transferred using their company banks, which come under item ii).

Debt or what?

Commercial bank money is really a debt liability for deposit-issuing banks, because they are under obligation to transform deposits into cash when needed using their clients and settle payments in central bank reserves at that time needed by payment system settlement rules.

However, inside a fractional reserve regime, banks hold only a small fraction of reserves against their total deposit liabilities. The levels of reserves they will use for settling interbank obligations are a fraction from the total transactions settled.

The greater limited is using cash throughout the economy, and also the bigger would be the economies of scale in using reserves (as allowed by payment system rules and clients’ nonsimultaneous mobilization of deposits), the low is the level of reserves that banks need to assist the issuance of recent deposits.3

Payment system rules affect using reserves via two channels: the settlement modality (that’s, netting or gross settlement) and also the technology adopted. Modern technologies introduce aspects of netting into gross settlement processes while increasing the rate of circulation of reserves, therefore allowing banks to spend less on using reserves for just about any given volume and cost of payments settled.

Within the hypothetical situation of the fully consolidated banking system inside a cashless economy where all agent accounts sit with simply one bank, all payments and transfers could be “upon us” for that bank. The financial institution would want no reserves for settling transactions and could be under no debt obligation to the clients. It could create the money the economy could absorb without holding reserves, and it is money would have a similar power as legal profit settling all financial obligations.

What’s bank money?

In tangible-world economies, however, you will find multiple banks whose payment activities generate interbank settlement obligations. Yet, the fractional reserve regime and also the economies of scale permitted through the payment system and depositors’ behavior lessen the reserves necessary for banks to back their financial obligations. Under growing scale economies, banks can make more liabilities (by lending or selling deposits) with decreasing reserve margins for coverage. In the hypothetical situation above which discussion, the result is that, everything else equal, a far more consolidated banking system affords lower coverage of their liabilities (and also at less expensive) than the usual less concentrated one.

More generally, absent adverse economic or market contingencies inducing depositors to transform deposits into cash, the liabilities symbolized by deposits only partially constitute debt liabilities from the issuing bank, which as a result require reserve coverage. The rest of the area of the liabilities is an origin of earnings for that issuing bank-earnings that stems from the bank’s capacity to create money. In accounting terms, towards the extent this earnings is undistributed, it is the same as equity (as discussed partly I of the blog).

Partly III from the blog, we show the double nature of business bank (sight) deposits is in conjuction with the concepts of general accounting.


Graziani, A. 2003. The Financial Theory of Production. Cambridge, United kingdom: Cambridge College Press.

McLeay, M., A. Radia, and R. Thomas. 2014. “Money Creation in the current Economy.” Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin 54 (1): 14-27.

Moore, B. 1979. “The Endogenous Money Stock.” Journal of Publish Keynesian Financial aspects 2 (1): 49-70.

—. 1983. “Unpacking the Publish Keynesian Black Box: Bank Lending and also the Money Supply.” Journal of Publish Keynesian Financial aspects 5 (4): 537-56.

Werner, R. A. 2014. “How Do Banks Create Money, and Why Can Other Firms Not Perform the Same? A Reason for that Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking.” Worldwide Overview of Financial Analysis 36: 71-77.


1 See, for example, Moore (1979, 1983) and also the literature on financial circuit theory. Because this is too vast to become reported here and do justice to the many contributors, we refer simply to the job by Graziani (2003), among the theory’s most authoritative exponents.

2 Banks create money by lending or selling deposits. Lending deposits features very close analogies to selling deposits. As banks issue deposits to clients in return for money, banks become proprietors from the money received and get the legal rights for doing things what ever they want (susceptible to existing laws and regulations and rules). Even when banks are restricted in using money-for example, for example, within the situation of regulation prescribing the kinds of assets to become held-they (and not the depositors) would be the proprietors from the purchased assets plus they (and not the depositors) would be the proprietors from the earnings generated through the purchased assets.

3 For using cash, in instances where the financial authority declares deposit inconvertibility and prohibits deposit transfers across borders, bank money effectively replicates central bank money, whereby reserves cannot circulate from the central bank’s books: any single commercial bank may dispossess itself of their own reserves (if another banks demand them), but these cannot altogether achieve this, since reserves once produced remain outstanding until they’re compensated or offered to the central bank.

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