Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve System • Keys Issues: • What is money and why does money make economies more efficient? • Define money and describe its functions • What determines the amount of money in the economy? • Explain the economic functions of banks and other depository institutions and describe how they are regulated • Explain how banks create money • Describe the structure of the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), and the tools used by the Fed to conduct monetary policy • Explain what an open market operation is, how it works, and how it changes the quantity of money • How do changes in the quantity of money influence the macroeconomy? (Later)
What is Money? • Money is any commodity or token that is generally acceptable as a medium of exchange. • Money has three other functions: • Means of Payment • Unit of account • Store of value
What is Money? • Medium of Exchange • A medium of exchange is an object that is generally accepted in exchange for goods and services. • In the absence of money, people would need to exchange goods and services directly, which is called barter. • Barter requires a double coincidence of wants, which is rare, so barter is costly. • Unit of Account • A unit of account is an agreed measure for stating the prices of goods and services.
What is Money? • Store of Value • As a store of value, money can be held for a time and later exchanged for goods and services. • Means of Payment • A means of payment is a method of settling a debt.
What is Money? • Money in the United States Today • Money in the United States consists of • Currency • Deposits at banks and other depository institutions • Currency is the general term for bills and coins.
What is Money? • The two main official measures of money in the United States are M1 and M2. • M1 consists of currency outside banks, traveler’s checks, and checking deposits owned by individuals and businesses. • M2 consists of M1 plus time deposits, savings deposits, and money market mutual funds and other deposits.
What is Money? • Figure 10.1 illustrates the composition of these two measures in 2001 and shows the relative magnitudes of the components of money.
What is Money? • The items in M1 clearly meet the definition of money; the items in M2 do not do so quite so clearly but still are quite liquid. • Liquidity is the property of being instantly convertible into a means of payment with little loss of value. • Checkable deposits are money, but checks are not– checks are instructions to banks to transfer money. • Credit cards are not money. Credit cards enable the holder to obtain a loan quickly, but the loan must be repaid with money.
Depository Institutions • A depository institution is a firm that accepts deposits from households and firms and uses the deposits to make loans to other households and firms. • The deposits of three types of depository institution make up the nation’s money: • Commercial banks • Thrift institutions • Money market mutual funds
Depository Institutions • Commercial Banks • A commercial bank is a private firm that is licensed to receive deposits and make loans. • A commercial bank’s balance sheet summarizes its business and lists the bank’s assets, liabilities, and net worth. • The objective of a commercial bank is to maximize the net worth of its stockholders.
Depository Institutions • Thrift Institutions • The thrift institutions are • Savings and loan associations • Savings banks • Credit unions.
Depository Institutions • A savings and loan association (S&L) is a depository institution that accepts checking and savings deposits and that make personal, commercial, and home-purchase loans. • A savings bank is a depository institution owned by its depositors that accepts savings deposits and makes mainly mortgage loans. • A credit union is a depository institution owned by its depositors that accepts savings deposits and makes consumer loans.
Depository Institutions • Money Market Mutual Funds • A money market fund is a fund operated by a financial institution that sells shares in the fund and uses the proceeds to buy liquid assets such as U.S. Treasury bills.
Depository Institutions • The Economic Functions of Depository Institutions • Depository institutions make a profit from the spread between the interest rate they pay on their deposits and the interest rate they charge on their loans. • This spread exists because depository institutions • Create liquidity • Minimize the cost of obtaining funds • Minimize the cost of monitoring borrowers • Pool risk
Depository Institutions • To achieve its objective, a bank makes risky loans at an interest rate higher than that paid on deposits. • But the banks must balance profit and prudence; loans generate profit, but depositors must be able to obtain their funds when they want them. • So banks divide their funds into two parts: reserves and loans. • Reserves are the cash in a bank’s vault and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks. • Bank lending takes the form of liquid assets, investment securities, and loans.
Financial Regulation, Deregulation, and Innovation • Deposits at banks, S&Ls, savings banks, and credit unions are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). • This insurance guarantees deposits in amounts of up to $100,000 per depositor. • This guarantee gives depository institutions the incentive to make risky loans because the depositors believe their funds to be perfectly safe; because of this incentive balance sheet regulations have been established.
How Banks Create Money • Reserves: Actual and Required • The fraction of a bank’s total deposits held as reserves is the reserve ratio. • The required reserve ratio is the fraction that banks are required, by regulation, to keep as reserves. Required reserves are the total amount of reserves that banks are required to keep. • Excess reserves equal actual reserves minus required reserves.
How Banks Create Money • Creating Deposits by Making Loans • To see how banks create deposits by making loans, suppose the required reserve ratio is 25 percent. • A new deposit of $100,000 is made. • The bank keeps $25,000 in reserve and lends $75,000. • This loan is credited to someone’s bank deposit. • The person spends the deposit and another bank now has $75,000 of extra deposits. • This bank keeps $18,750 on reserve and lends $56,250.
How Banks Create Money • The process continues and keeps repeating with smaller and smaller loans at each “round.” • Figure 10.2 illustrates the money creation process.