Post by Kamal R. Prasad Post by Straydog
I think a lot of people use the word "liquidity" without knowing what it
means and he is one of them. He must think its "cool" to throw words
around that are abstract instead of words (like money supply) that are
easier to understand.
liquidity is a widely used alias for money supply.
Kamal, here is what started it: your sentences that I quote here.
############### quote #####
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
... and when the Fed increases liquidity aka money supply ...
... Home prices will rise when liquidity increases...
Liquidity of what?
He said "aka money supply..." but I think that he thinks the Fed just
prints money whenever it feels like, which is untrue. Although
I've explained it many times, the money supply expands primarily through
fractional reserve banking which is explained in any (all that I've seen
anyway) banking book.
################ end of quote ##############
And, Kamal, those sentences above are what YOU wrote. The rest of us see
this and figure that you know what you wrote and are trying to say
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
I personally admire the guys who have nerves to play experts in
subjects they don't have any clue. I think this is the prerequisite to
success in the modern world.
I am not an expert -nor have formal education in econ. My
specialization is Comp Sc & Engg -and I am content with knowing or
claiming to know enough so as to earn my living without breaking any
I am neither an expert in economics nor am I an expert in banking, but
I've spent some serious time trying to learn more. I will say that I have
been much less satisfied with what economists tell us than explanations
by bankers about how banks and money work. At least I know that money
supply expands (primarily) by fractional reserve banking which has been in
existence BEFORE the USA even existed!
Kamal, I think your biggest problems are: i) that you don't give enough
time to think critically about what you think about, and ii) you don't
think critically and carefully enough BEFORE you write something. I don't
care if you hate part or all of the USA, but at least have a valid reason
that can be stated accurately instead of based on hot air and demonstrably
false statements. You deny or ignore reality in India, and then talk about
problems in the USA that don't exist (eg. slavery really does exist in
India today but not the USA).
And, you should be more careful about what you claim to know vs what you
actually know. Nobody really gets hurt here on NGs that don't have a lot
of readers, but if you had to make a living by writing for the Washington
Post or the NY Times, you'd be dead now.
Economics and banking are very complicated areas and there are many
controversies in economics and quite a few in banking policy and
procedure, too. I'm not an expert in either area, either, but at least I
read the stuff and read it many times trying to determine the finer
points and try to figure out what the authors are trying to say.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Also, this is the computer age. They (Indians) are supposed to have
excellent Internet access.
Americans have better access to the internet -and wikipedia is neither
the last word nor guaranteed to contain all information known to
mankind. It is a volunteer based effort to create a free encyclopedia.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Why on earth he does not put "liquidity"
into bloody Google and get the tons of explanation of what it is: e.g.
That is referring to the liquidity of an asset class like stocks etc..
I am referring to the liquidity available in an economy to trade in
goods, services etc.. A closer definition of what I wanted to convey is
I did a copy and paste of both definitions below, and I read substantial
parts of both, and edited the formating of parts in both that pertain to
what we're discussion.
When you say "liquidity..aka money supply" you (see below) are incorrect.
Unless you have some other weird definition of "aka", it means to me "Also
known as" which means the two terms are talking about the same thing.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
For Art, I never claimed the US treassury will print money for
Shall I collect all the sentence you have been writing about this for
more than the last year and put them here? You have been saying
approximately that all along. We just print money. Our money is worthless.
We don't have any "fountain of wealth" (your own words). You portray that
we just don't have ANYthing here and its all archived for anyone to see
for themselves. You can't explain where our skyscrapers, homes, cars,
highways, military, electronics, computers, everything else comes from
but you can sure deny that any of it exists.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
I just claimed they have the ability to do so.
Our glorious government decides, from time to time, to "create" money--to
create spending money it does not have--by increasing the federal debt
limit. This ability is NOT exclusive to the USA. It goes back even to
before the USA existed, in European countries at least. It can actually
print real paper money or mint coins or it can make numbers on paper or
computer memory get bigger with pressing keys on a keyboard. Yes, down the
road, this "more numbers" floats out into our economy and leads to
inflation. But, what also is happening is that "more numbers" floats out
into bank accounts all over our economy and through fractional reserve
banking, that new money gets _multiplied_ by factors that are in equations
in banking books. And, that is given in those wiki formulas that involve
measures like M0, M1, M2, and M3 that you can see below in the wiki
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
what extent they increase/decrease liquidity (or shall we say money
supply) is a function of monetary policy.
I would refer you to what you yourself quoted as being in the wiki
definitions and then invite you to try again to write what you are
trying to say because from my reading of what is below "liquidity is NOT
Wiki "Liquidity" and "Money Supply" definitions, respectively, are
copied from Wiki and pasted below.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Liquidity)
Market liquidity is a business or economics term that refers to the
ability to quickly buy or sell a particular item without causing a
significant movement in the price. The term is usually shortened to
The essential characteristic of a liquid market is that there are ready
and willing buyers and sellers at all times. An elegant definition of
liquidity is also the probability that the next trade is executed at
a price equal to the last one.
A market is considered deeply liquid if there are ready and willing
buyers and sellers in large quantities. This is related to a deep market,
where orders can not strongly influence prices.
The liquidity of a product can be measured as how often it's bought and
sold. For stocks this is known as the volume of trades ().
Often investments in liquid markets such as the stock exchange are
considered to be more desirable than investments that are considered
relatively illiquid, like real estate. This is because the forced sale
or purchase of an item in an illiquid market may be at a disadvantageous
price. Because assets that have liquid secondary markets are more
advantageous to their owners, buyers of such assets are willing to pay
a higher price for the asset than for comparable assets without a liquid
secondary market. This liquidity discount is the reduced promised yield
or expected return for such assets, like the difference between newly
issued U.S. Treasury bonds compared to off-the-run Treasuries with the
same term remaining until maturity. Buyers know that other investors are
not willing to buy off-the-run so the newly issued bonds have a lower
yield and higher price.
Speculators and market makers contribute to the liquidity of a market.
One of the usual objections to a Tobin tax is precisely that it will
discourage speculation on currencies, which will lessen the liquidity
of foreign exchange markets, increasing their volatility. It is for
this reason that market makers and professional traders are exempted
in the UK from the 0.5% ad valorem tax on share purchases.
The risk of illiquidity need not apply only to individual investments:
whole portfolios are subject to liquidity risk. Financial institutions
and asset managers that oversee portfolios are subject to what is called
"structural" and "contingent" liquidity risk. Structural liquidity risk,
sometimes called funding liquidity risk, is the risk associated with
funding asset portfolios in the normal course of business. Contingent
liquidity risk is the risk associated with finding additional funds
or replacing maturing liabilities under potential, future stressed
When a central bank tries to influence the liquidity (supply) of
money, this process is known as open market operations.
In business, merchants often have liquidation sales, in which inventories
are sold at discount to raise cash or to get rid of inventory more quickly.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent
a worldwide view.
Please improve the article or discuss the issue on the talk page.
Money supply ("monetary aggregates", "money stock"), a macroeconomic concept, is the quantity of money available within the economy to purchase goods, services, and securities.
2.1 United States
2.2 United Kingdom
3 Link with inflation
3.1 Monetary exchange equation
4 Money Supply and Cash
5 The Central Bank
5.1 The balance sheets
6 Bank reserves at Central Bank
7 Arguments and criticism
8 United States monetary base
9 United States Money Supply
10 Discontinuance of M3 Publication Data
11 Latest US M3 numbers
12 Controlling money supply by issuing debt
13 ECB Target
14 See also
15 Notes and references
16 External links
The monetary sector, as opposed to the real sector, concerns the money
market. The same tools of analysis can be applied as to other markets:
supply and demand result in an equilibrium price (the interest rate) and
quantity (of real money balances).
When thinking about the "supply" of money, it is natural to think of the
total of banknotes and coins in an economy. That, however, is incomplete.
In the United States, coins are minted by the United States Mint, part
of the Department of the Treasury, outside of the Federal Reserve.
Banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing on behalf
of the Federal Reserve as symbolic tokens of electronic
credit-based money that has already been created or more precisely,
issued by private banks through fractional reserve banking.
In this respect, all banknotes in existence are systematically linked to the expansion of the electronic credit-based money supply. However, coinage can be increased or decreased outside this system by Legal Mandate or Legislative Acts. However, at present the coin base is held in check and used as a complementary system rather than a competitive system with private bank issue of electronic credit-based money. The common practice is to include printed and minted money supply in the same metric M0.
The more accurate starting point for the concept of money supply is the total of all electronic credit-based deposit balances in bank (and other financial) accounts (for more precise definitions, see below) plus all the minted coins and printed paper. The M1 money supply is M0, plus the total of (non-paper or coin) deposit balances without any withdrawal resitrictions (restricted accounts that you can't write checks on are put in the next level of liquidity, M2).
The relationship between the M0 and M1 money supplies is the money multiplier - basically, the ratio of cash and coin in people's wallets and bank vaults and ATMs to Total balances in their financial accounts. The gap and lag between the two (M0 and M1 - M0) occurs because of the system of fractional reserve banking.
Because (in principle) money is anything that can be used in settlement of a debt, there are varying measures of money supply. The narrowest (i.e., most restrictive) measures count only those forms of money available for immediate transactions, while broader measures include money held as a store of value.
U.S. Money Supply from 1959-2006
The most common measures are named M0 (narrowest), M1, M2, and M3. In the United States they are defined by the Federal Reserve as follows:
M0: The total of all physical currency, plus accounts at the central bank which can be exchanged for physical currency.
M1: M0 + the amount in demand accounts ("checking" or "current" accounts).
M2: M1 + most savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificate of deposit accounts (CDs) of under $100,000.
M3: M2 + all other CDs, deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements.
As of March 23, 2006, information regarding M3 will no longer be published by the Federal Reserve. The other three money supply measures will continue to be provided in detail. On March 7th, 2006, Congressman Ron Paul introduced H.R. 4892 in an effort to reverse this change.
There are just two official UK measures. M0 is referred to as the "wide monetary base" or "narrow money" and M4 is referred to as "broad money" or simply "the money supply".
M0: Cash outside Bank of England + Banks' operational deposits with Bank of England.
M4: Cash outside banks (ie. in circulation with the public and non-bank firms) + private-sector retail bank and building society deposits + Private-sector wholesale bank and building society deposits and CDs.v
Link with inflation
Monetary exchange equation
Money supply is important because it is linked to inflation by the "monetary exchange equation":
velocity = the number of times per year that money changes hands (if it is a number it is always simply nominal GDP / money supply)
real GDP = nominal Gross Domestic Product / GDP deflator
GDP deflator = measure of inflation. Money supply may be less than or greater than the demand of money in the economy
In other words, if the money supply grows faster than real GDP growth (described as "unproductive debt expansion"), inflation is likely to follow ("inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon"). This statement must be qualified slightly, due to changes in velocity. While the monetarists presume that velocity is relatively stable, in fact velocity exhibits variability at business-cycle frequencies, so that the velocity equation is not particularly useful as a short run tool. Moreover, in the US, velocity has grown at an average of slightly more than 1% a year between 1959 and 2005.
(excerpted from "Breaking Monetary Policy into Pieces", May 24 2004, http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc040524.htm)
In terms of percentage changes (to a small approximation, the percentage change in a product, say XY is equal to the sum of the percentage changes %X + %Y). So:
%P + %Y = %M + %V
That equation rearranged gives the "basic inflation identity":
%P = %M + %V - %Y
Inflation (%P) is equal to the rate of money growth (%M), plus the change in velocity (%V), minus the rate of output growth (%Y).
Money Supply and Cash
In the U.S., as of July 28, 2005, M1 was about $1.4 trillion, M2 about $6.5 trillion, and M3 about $9.7 trillion. If you split all of the money equally per person in the United States, each person would end up with roughly $30,000 ($9,700,000M/300M). The amount of actual physical cash M0 was $688 billion in 2004, roughly double the $328 billion in cash and cash equivalents on deposit at Citigroup as of the end of that year and roughly $ 2,125 per person in the US.
The Central Bank
In the United States the supply of money outside of coins minted by the Mint can ONLY increase if the private banks issue more by loaning into circulation through Fractional Reserve Bank Lending Practices. Subsequently paper notes are increased ONLY as they are printed by the BEP on behalf of the Federal Reserve Fractional Banking System and are swapped at par value by the Federal Reserve Bank with Private Banks for their already issued electronic credits, which are then expunged (some believe retained) from the system by the Federal Reserve Bank. Thus, these printed money tokens (notes) merely replace already issued electronic credits on a one-for-one basis.
The larger definitions of the money supply, M1, M2, and M3, are types of deposit accounts. The first balance sheet item in a bank is usually deposits. Of the money in a bank deposit, depending on reserve requirements, either the whole sum or some fraction of it can immediately be lent out. The borrower can buy an asset and the seller of that asset can place the proceeds in another money supply constituent deposit. The money supply has just increased, because both the original and secondary deposits count as part of the money supply. That money can therefore continue to increase many times over. The Federal Reserve decides the level of "reserves of depository institutions".
Monetary policy has effects on employment and output in the short run, but in the long run, it primarily affects prices.
The balance sheets
This is what money supply growth may look like starting with 1 new dollar of deposits. The money is moving from left to right. The Central Bank injects money from its reserve into the economy by buying a government bond from Bank 1 for $1, Bank 1 lends the proceeds to Person 1, who buys an asset from Person 2, who deposits the proceeds at Bank 2, who loans it to Person 3, who buys a service from Person 4, who deposits the proceeds in Bank 1, and the money supply becomes $3.
Gov. debt (to B1) $1
Loan (to P1) $1
Deposit (from P4) $1
Investment (to P2) $1
Loan (from B1) $1
Deposit (to B2) $1
Loan (to P3) $1
Deposit (from P2) $1
Bank reserves at Central Bank
When a central bank is "easing", it triggers an increase in money supply by purchasing government securities on the open market thus increasing available funds for private banks to loan through fractional reserve banking (the issue of new money through loans) and thus grows the money supply. When the central bank is "tightening", it slows the process of private bank issue by selling securities on the open market and pulling money (that could be loaned) out of the private banking sector. It reduces or increases the supply of short term government debt, and inversely increases or reduces the supply of lending funds and thereby the ability of private banks to issue new money through debt.
The operative notion of easy money is that the central bank creates new bank reserves (in the US known as "federal funds"), which let the banks lend out more money. These loans get spent, and the proceeds get deposited at other banks. Whatever is not required to be held as reserves is then lent out again, and through the magic of the "money multiplier", loans and bank deposits go up by many times the initial injection of reserves.
However in the 1970s the reserve requirements on deposits started to fall with the emergence of money market funds, which require no reserves. Then in the early 1990s, reserve requirements were dropped to zero on savings deposits, CDs, and Eurocurrency deposits. At present, reserve requirements apply only to "transactions deposits" - essentially checking accounts. The vast majority of funding sources used by Private Banks to create loans have nothing to do with bank reserves and in effect create what is known as "moral hazard" and speculative bubble economies.
These days, commercial and industrial loans are financed by issuing large denomination CDs. Money market deposits are largely used to lend to corporations who issue commercial paper. Consumer loans are also made using savings deposits which are not subject to reserve requirements. These loans can be bunched into securities and sold to somebody else, taking them off of the bank's books.
The point is simple. Commercial, industrial and consumer loans no longer have any link to bank reserves. Since 1995, the volume of such loans has exploded, while bank reserves have declined.
In recent years, the irrelevance of open market operations has also been argued by academic economists renown for their work on the implications of rational expectations, including Robert Lucas, Jr., Thomas Sargent, Neil Wallace, Finn E. Kydland, Edward C. Prescott and Scott Freeman.
Arguments and criticism
One of the principal jobs of central banks (such as the Federal Reserve,
the Bank of England and the European Central Bank) is to keep money supply
growth in line with real GDP growth. Central banks do this primarily by
targeting some inter-bank interest rate (in the U.S., this is the federal
funds rate) through open market operations.
A very common criticism of this policy, originating with the creators of
GDP as a measure, is that "real GDP growth" is in fact meaningless, and
since GDP can grow for many reasons including manmade disasters and crises,
is not correlated with any known means of measuring well-being. This use of
the GDP figures is considered by its own creators to be an abuse, and
dangerous. The most common solution proposed by such critics is that
money supply (which determines the value of all financial capital,
ultimately, by diluting it) should be kept in line with some more
ecological and social and human means of measuring well-being. In theory,
money supply would expand when well-being is improving, and contract when
well-being is decreasing, giving all parties in the economy a direct
interest in improving well-being.
This argument must be balanced against what is nearly dogma among
economists: that the control of inflation is the main (or only) job
of a central bank, and that any introduction of non-financial means
of measuring well-being has an inevitable domino effect of increasing
government spending and diluting capital and the rewards of gainfully
Currency integration is thought by some economists -- Robert Mundell,
for example -- to alleviate this problem by ensuring that currencies
become less competitive in the commodity markets, and that a wider
political base be employed in the setting of currency and inflation
and well-being policy. This thinking is in part the basis of the Euro
currency integration in the European Union.
Money supply remains one of the most controversial aspects of economics
United States monetary base
United States monetary base at the end of September 2004.
Monetary base (billions of dollars) (not seasonally adjusted)
Reserves of depository institutions 46.4
Reserve balances with F.R. Banks 13.0
Vault cash surplus 11.4
United States Money Supply
This table shows the United States money supply as reported by the Fed on Sep 30, 2004.
Money Supply (billions of dollars)
(not seasonally adjusted)  
M0 (not seasonally adjusted, not adjusted for changes in reserve requirements)
Currency (The diff between total reserves and the Monetary Base as reported in H.3)  674.4
Bank's total reserves at the Fed 46.1
M0 (Monetary Base) 720.5
Demand Deposits 321.0
Other Checkable Deposits 319.5
M1 (Monetary Base) 1,361.0
Savings deposits 3,472.5
Small-denomination time deposits 795.6
Retail money funds  729.5
Institutional money funds 1,071.6
Large-denomination time deposits 1,018.2
Repurchase agreements 537.3
Comparable numbers (billions of dollars) (not seasonally adjusted)
GDP (seasonally adjusted) 11,643.0
Credit market Debt Outstanding 35,181.7
Derivatives (notional) 79,400.0
The only deposits that have "reserve requirements" are the M1 "checking deposits".
Discontinuance of M3 Publication Data
In a press release dated 10 November, 2005, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced that it would cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board stated that M3 "does not appear to convey any additional information about economic activity that is not already embodied in M2," and that the decision was reached largely because "the costs of collecting the underlying data and publishing M3 outweigh the benefits." It remains to be seen, however, whether this will be perceived as a minor policy change, or as a cover-up for monetary expansion. Central Banks may see this as a reason to limit further increases in their reserves of dollars, and, thus, alternatives to holding the US Dollar, such as gold or the Euro, might be considered.
Latest US M3 numbers
According to the last published data from 16 March, 2005, M3 has been growing at an annual rate of over 8.22%. As of 16th March 2006 M3 was $10.34 trillion. One year earlier, on 14th March 2005 the M3 was $9.55 trillion.
Controlling money supply by issuing debt
The government can control the growth of M3 through the issuance of new
Government debt instruments. Money which is re-invested back into US
Government debt--such as treasury bonds and treasury bills--ceases to
be part of M3. Thus, if a government wishes to slow the growth of M3,
and thus prevent the economy from overheating, it can raise interest
rates, and, therefore, withdraw money from M3 and transfer it into
Government debt. Between 14, March 2005 and 16, March 2006 total US
National Debt rose by 6.71% from $7.75 trillion to $8.27 trillion.
These figures inform us that the actual issuance of money exceeded
the increase in M3. In March of 2006, the US Congress agreed to raise
the National Debt Ceiling an additional $781 billion and, thus, prevent
a first-ever default on US Treasury notes. As of 15 April, 2006,
The National Debt Ceiling stands at just under $9 trillion.
The European Central Bank has set a target rate of 4.5% for M3 growth but has overshot that target by almost double since the inception of the Euro.
Debt levels and flows
Full reserve banking
M4 money supply
Money with zero maturity (MZM)
Notes and references
^ The term private bank is here used as a bank that is not government owned, not as a bank for high net worth individuals.
^ See, for example, the balance sheet from Citigroup Inc. at http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/fin/ar.htm
^ a b Currency outside U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks and the vaults of depository institutions.
^ Demand deposits at domestically chartered commercial banks, U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, and Edge Act Corporations (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign banks and official institutions) less cash items in the process of collection and Federal Reserve float.
^ NOW and ATS balances.
^ Savings deposits include money market deposit accounts.
^ Small-denomination time deposits are those issued in amounts of less than $100,000. All IRA and Keogh account balances at commercial banks and thrift institutions are subtracted from small time deposits.
^ IRA and Keogh account balances at money market mutual funds are subtracted from retail money funds.
^ Large-denomination time deposits at domestically chartered commercial banks, U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, and Edge Act Corporations, excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, foreign banks and official institutions, and money market mutual funds.
^ RP liabilities of depository institutions, in denominations of $100,000 or more, on U.S. government and federal agency securities, excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, foreign banks and official institutions, and money market mutual funds.
^ Eurodollars held by U.S. addressees at foreign branches of U.S. banks worldwide and at all banking offices in the United Kingdom and Canada, excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, foreign banks and official institutions, and by money market mutual funds.
Trailing Five-Year U.S. Money Supply Chart
Trailing Five-Year U.S. Money Supply Rate of Change Chart
Aggregate Reserves Of Depository Institutions And The Monetary Base (H.3)
U.S. M1,M2 Money Supply Historical Table
Money Stock Measures (H.6)
Top 50 Bank Holding Companies by Total Domestic Deposits
Data on Monetary Aggregates in Australia
Do all banks hold reserves, and, if so, where do they hold them? (11/2001)
What effect does a change in the reserve requirement have on the money supply? (08/2001)
St. Louis Fed: Monetary Aggregates
A Brief Economics Primer By John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
Breaking Monetary Policy into Pieces By John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
Why the Federal Reserve is Irrelevant By John P. Hussman, Ph.D. August 2001
Anna J. Schwartz on money supply
Popular History of Money and Economics articles
"What Has Government Done to Our Money?" by Murray N. Rothbard
Peak Behind the curtain? Why is Fed hiding the M3?
Discontinuance of M3 Publication
Categories: Limited geographic scope | Money | Monetary policy