A commodity is "a quantity of goods" used in "trade and commerce."
How should money exchange similarly with other commodities?
on the basis of a
constant known weight
How does increasing the money
supply differ in effect from increasing
the supply of other commodities?
Why is this so?
Increasing the money supply adds no net social benefit,
but merely devalues already-existing money.
Unlike other commodities, money is exchanged, not consumed.
How would banks
function in a 100%
Banks would store ("warehouse") gold or silver (specie). Bank
notes ("warehouse receipts") would issue only against specie
deposits, all redeemable anytime. Bank profits would come
from specie-storage charges and interest on specie loans.
If the money supply is not limited to the supply of precious metals, money ceases
being a form of private property and becomes a tool to redistribute wealth.
What is "inflation"?
How does inflation
an increase in the money supply, usually in excess of the supply of precious metals
by shifting net claims to wealth to those nearest the source of the new money
(i.e., government and banks), and away from those farther from the source
What are "fractional-
banks which overextend credit by making more loans in paper money – all of
which they pledge to redeem in specie on demand – than they can redeem
Why are government and
Government expands the money supply to buy more goods and services
without directly raising taxes. Fractional-reserve banks expand the money
supply to make more loans, earn more interest, raise their profits.
How does a legitimate credit
economy (without fractional-
reserve banking) differ from a
paper money economy (with
In a legitimate credit economy there is no monetary inflation,
more postponed consumption, and a promise to repay bank
debt in the future. In a paper money economy there is monetary
inflation, less postponed consumption, and a promise to repay
bank debt (i.e., to redeem paper money) immediately.
In a system where money is private property and paper money is redeemable in specie on demand:
Why are fractional-reserve
banks always bankrupt?
They cannot redeem in specie all the
paper claims to it which they have issued.
What is a
Depositors lose confidence in a bank's ability to redeem its paper money in specie
and try to reclaim their property by presenting bank notes for redemption.
bank emissions of
paper money in excess
of specie backing?
the number of independent banks (each of which can
demand the others redeem their paper in specie); the
number of bank notes in circulation; depositors' fear of
non-redeemability of bank notes into specie on demand
How do central banks
remove these restraints
on monetary expansion
Nationalization of the banking system leaves fewer
independent banks to demand specie redemption
of paper money. Government, backed by the printing
press, guarantees safety of depositors' money.