In economics, the money supply (or money stock) is the total value of monetary assets available in an economy at a specific time. There are several ways to define "money", but standard measures usually include currency in circulation and demand deposits (depositors' easily accessed assets on the books of financial institutions).
Money supply data are recorded and published, usually by the government or the central bank of the country. Public and private sector analysts have long monitored changes in the money supply because of the belief that it affects the price level, inflation, the exchange rate and the business cycle.
That relation between money and prices is historically associated with the quantity theory of money. There is strong empirical evidence of a direct relation between money-supply growth and long-term price inflation, at least for rapid increases in the amount of money in the economy. For example, a country such as Zimbabwe which saw extremely rapid increases in its money supply also saw extremely rapid increases in prices (hyperinflation). This is one reason for the reliance on monetary policy as a means of controlling inflation.
The nature of this causal chain is the subject of contention. Some heterodox economists argue that the money supply is endogenous (determined by the workings of the economy, not by the central bank) and that the sources of inflation must be found in the distributional structure of the economy.
In addition, those economists seeing the central bank's control over the money supply as feeble say that there are two weak links between the growth of the money supply and the inflation rate. First, in the aftermath of a recession, when many resources are underutilized, an increase in the money supply can cause a sustained increase in real production instead of inflation. Second, if the velocity of money (i.e., the ratio between nominal GDP and money supply) changes, an increase in the money supply could have either no effect, an exaggerated effect, or an unpredictable effect on the growth of nominal GDP.
Money is used as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and as a ready store of value. Its different functions are associated with different empirical measures of the money supply. There is no single "correct" measure of the money supply. Instead, there are several measures, classified along a spectrum or continuum between narrow and broad monetary aggregates. Narrow measures include only the most liquid assets, the ones most easily used to spend (currency, checkable deposits). Broader measures add less liquid types of assets (certificates of deposit, etc.).
This continuum corresponds to the way that different types of money are more or less controlled by monetary policy. Narrow measures include those more directly affected and controlled by monetary policy, whereas broader measures are less closely related to monetary-policy actions. It is a matter of perennial debate as to whether narrower or broader versions of the money supply have a more predictable link to nominal GDP.
The different types of money are typically classified as "M"s. The "M"s usually range from M0 (narrowest) to M3 (broadest) but which "M"s are actually focused on in policy formulation depends on the country's central bank. The typical layout for each of the "M"s is as follows:
|Type of money||M0||MB||M1||M2||M3||MZM|
|Notes and coins in circulation (outside Federal Reserve Banks and the vaults of depository institutions) (currency)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Notes and coins in bank vaults (vault cash)||✓|
|Federal Reserve Bank credit (required reserves and excess reserves not physically present in banks)||✓|
|Traveler's checks of non-bank issuers||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Other checkable deposits (OCDs), which consist primarily of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts at depository institutions and credit union share draft accounts.||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Time deposits less than $100,000 and money-market deposit accounts for individuals||✓||✓|
|Large time deposits, institutional money market funds, short-term repurchase and other larger liquid assets||✓|
|All money market funds||✓|
The ratio of a pair of these measures, most often M2 / M0, is called an (actual, empirical) money multiplier.
The different forms of money in government money supply statistics arise from the practice of fractional-reserve banking. Whenever a bank gives out a loan in a fractional-reserve banking system, a new sum of money is created. This new type of money is what makes up the non-M0 components in the M1-M3 statistics. In short, there are two types of money in a fractional-reserve banking system:
In the money supply statistics, central bank money is MB while the commercial bank money is divided up into the M1-M3 components. Generally, the types of commercial bank money that tend to be valued at lower amounts are classified in the narrow category of M1 while the types of commercial bank money that tend to exist in larger amounts are categorized in M2 and M3, with M3 having the largest.
In the United States, a bank's reserves consist of U.S. currency held by the bank (also known as "vault cash") plus the bank's balances in Federal Reserve accounts. For this purpose, paper currency on hand and balances in Federal Reserve ("Fed") accounts are interchangeable (both are obligations of the Fed). Reserves may come from any source, including the federal funds market, deposits by the public, and borrowing from the Fed itself.
A reserve requirement is a ratio a bank must maintain between deposit liabilities and reserves. Reserve requirements do not apply to the amount of money a bank may lend out. The ratio that applies to bank lending is its capital requirement.
The Federal Reserve previously published data on three monetary aggregates, but on November 10, 2005 announced that as of March 23, 2006 it would cease publication of M3. Since the spring of 2006 the Federal Reserve has only published data on two of these aggregates. The first, M1, is made up of types of money commonly used for payment, basically currency outside banks and checking account balances. The second, M2, includes M1 plus balances that generally are similar to transaction accounts and that, for the most part, can be converted fairly readily to M1 with little or no loss of principal. The M2 measure is thought to be held primarily by households. As mentioned, the third aggregate, M3 is no longer published. Prior to this discontinuation, M3 had included M2 plus certain accounts that are held by entities other than individuals and are issued by banks and thrift institutions to augment M2-type balances in meeting credit demands; it had also included balances in money market mutual funds held by institutional investors. The aggregates have had different roles in monetary policy as their reliability as guides has changed. The following details their principal components:
Although the Treasury can and does hold cash and a special deposit account at the Fed (fed funds), these assets do not count in any of the aggregates. So in essence, money paid in taxes paid to the Federal Government (Treasury) is excluded from the money supply. To counter this, the government created the Treasury Tax and Loan (TT&L) program in which any receipts above a certain threshold are redeposited in private banks. The idea is that tax receipts won't decrease the amount of reserves in the banking system. The TT&L accounts, while demand deposits, do not count toward M1 or any other aggregate either.
When the Federal Reserve announced in 2005 that they would cease publishing M3 statistics in March 2006, they explained that M3 did not convey any additional information about economic activity compared to M2, and thus, "has not played a role in the monetary policy process for many years." Therefore, the costs to collect M3 data outweighed the benefits the data provided. Some politicians have spoken out against the Federal Reserve's decision to cease publishing M3 statistics and have urged the U.S. Congress to take steps requiring the Federal Reserve to do so. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) claimed that "M3 is the best description of how quickly the Fed is creating new money and credit. Common sense tells us that a government central bank creating new money out of thin air depreciates the value of each dollar in circulation." Modern Monetary Theory disagrees. It holds that money creation in a free-floating fiat currency regime such as the U.S. will not lead to significant inflation unless the economy is approaching full employment and full capacity. Some of the data used to calculate M3 are still collected and published on a regular basis. Current alternate sources of M3 data are available from the private sector.
There are several different definitions of money supply to reflect the differing stores of money. Owing to the nature of bank deposits, especially time-restricted savings account deposits, M4 represents the most illiquid measure of money. M0, by contrast, is the most liquid measure of the money supply.
In 1967, when sterling was devalued, the dollar's peg to the pound was increased from 1 shilling 3 pence to 1 shilling 4½ pence (14.5455 dollars = 1 pound) although this did not entirely offset the devaluation. In 1972 the Hong Kong dollar was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 5.65 H.K. dollar = 1 U.S. dollar. This was revised to 5.085 H.K. dollar = 1 U.S. dollar in 1973. Between 1974 and 1983 the Hong Kong dollar floated. On 17 October 1983 the currency was pegged at a rate of 7.8 H.K. dollar = 1 U.S. dollar, through the currency board system.
As of 18 May 2005, in addition to the lower guaranteed limit, a new upper guaranteed limit was set for the Hong Kong dollar at 7.75 to the American dollar. The lower limit was lowered from 7.80 to 7.85 (by 100 pips per week from 23 May to 20 June 2005). The Hong Kong Monetary Authority indicated that this move was to narrow the gap between the interest rates in Hong Kong and those of the United States. A further aim of allowing the Hong Kong dollar to trade in a range is to avoid the HK dollar being used as a proxy for speculative bets on a renminbi revaluation.
The Hong Kong Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration provides that Hong Kong retains full autonomy with respect to currency issuance. Currency in Hong Kong is issued by the government and three local banks under the supervision of the territory's de facto central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Bank notes are printed by Hong Kong Note Printing.
A bank can issue a Hong Kong dollar only if it has the equivalent exchange in US dollars on deposit. The currency board system ensures that Hong Kong's entire monetary base is backed with US dollars at the linked exchange rate. The resources for the backing are kept in Hong Kong's exchange fund, which is among the largest official reserves in the world. Hong Kong also has huge deposits of US dollars, with official foreign currency reserves of 331.3 billion USD as of September 2014.
In mathematical terms, this equation is an identity which is true by definition rather than describing economic behavior. That is, velocity is defined by the values of the other three variables. Unlike the other terms, the velocity of money has no independent measure and can only be estimated by dividing PQ by M. Some adherents of the quantity theory of money assume that the velocity of money is stable and predictable, being determined mostly by financial institutions. If that assumption is valid then changes in M can be used to predict changes in PQ. If not, then a model of V is required in order for the equation of exchange to be useful as a macroeconomics model or as a predictor of prices.
Most macroeconomists replace the equation of exchange with equations for the demand for money which describe more regular and predictable economic behavior. However, predictability (or the lack thereof) of the velocity of money is equivalent to predictability (or the lack thereof) of the demand for money (since in equilibrium real money demand is simply Q/V). Either way, this unpredictability made policy-makers at the Federal Reserve rely less on the money supply in steering the U.S.economy. Instead, the policy focus has shifted to interest rates such as the fed funds rate.
In practice, macroeconomists almost always use real GDP to define Q, omitting the role of all transactions except for those involving newly produced goods and services (i.e., consumption goods, investment goods, government-purchased goods, and exports). But the original quantity theory of money did not follow this practice: PQ was the monetary value of all new transactions, whether of real goods and services or of paper assets.
The monetary value of assets, goods, and services sold during the year could be grossly estimated using nominal GDP back in the 1960s. This is not the case anymore because of the dramatic rise of the number of financial transactions relative to that of real transactions up until 2008. That is, the total value of transactions (including purchases of paper assets) rose relative to nominal GDP (which excludes those purchases).
Ignoring the effects of monetary growth on real purchases and velocity, this suggests that the growth of the money supply may cause different kinds of inflation at different times. For example, rises in the U.S. money supplies between the 1970s and the present encouraged first a rise in the inflation rate for newly produced goods and services ("inflation" as usually defined) in the ‘70’s and then asset-price inflation in later decades: it may have encouraged a stock market boom in the '80s and '90s and then, after 2001, a rise in home prices, i.e., the famous housing bubble. This story, of course, assumes that the amounts of money were the causes of these different types of inflation rather than being endogenous results of the economy's dynamics.
When home prices went down, the Federal Reserve kept its loose monetary policy and lowered interest rates; the attempt to slow price declines in one asset class, e.g. real estate, may well have caused prices in other asset classes to rise, e.g. commodities.
In terms of percentage changes (to a close approximation, under low growth rates), the percentage change in a product, say XY, is equal to the sum of the percentage changes %ΔX + %ΔY). So, denoting all percentage changes as per unit of time,
This equation rearranged gives the basic inflation identity:
Inflation (%ΔP) is equal to the rate of money growth (%ΔM), plus the change in velocity (%ΔV), minus the rate of output growth (%ΔQ). So if in the long run the growth rate of velocity and the growth rate of real GDP are exogenous constants (the former being dictated by changes in payment institutions and the latter dictated by the growth in the economy’s productive capacity), then the monetary growth rate and the inflation rate differ from each other by a fixed constant.
As before, this equation is only useful if %ΔV follows regular behavior. It also loses usefulness if the central bank lacks control over %ΔM.
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 lend out through fractional-reserve banking (the issue of new money through loans) and thus the amount of bank reserves and the monetary base rise. By purchasing government bonds (e.g., U.S. Treasury bills), this bids up their prices, so that interest rates fall at the same time that the monetary base increases.
With "easy money," the central bank creates new bank reserves (in the US known as "federal funds"), which allow the banks to lend more. 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 "multiplying" effect of the fractional-reserve system, loans and bank deposits go up by many times the initial injection of reserves.
In contrast, 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. By increasing the supply of bonds, this lowers their prices and raises interest rates at the same time that the money supply is reduced.
This kind of policy reduces or increases the supply of short term government debt in the hands of banks and the non-bank public, lowering or raising interest rates. In parallel, it increases or reduces the supply of loanable funds (money) and thereby the ability of private banks to issue new money through issuing debt.
The simple connection between monetary policy and monetary aggregates such as M1 and M2 changed in the 1970s as the reserve requirements on deposits started to fall with the emergence of money funds, which require no reserves. Then in the early 1990s, reserve requirements, for example in Canada, were dropped to zero on savings deposits, CDs, and Eurodollar deposit. 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 are not limited by bank reserves. Most 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. This means that instead of the value of loans supplied responding passively to monetary policy, we often see it rising and falling with the demand for funds and the willingness of banks to lend.
Some economists argue that the money multiplier is a meaningless concept, because its relevance would require that the money supply be exogenous, i.e. determined by the monetary authorities via open market operations. If central banks usually target the shortest-term interest rate (as their policy instrument) then this leads to the money supply being endogenous.
Neither commercial nor consumer loans are any longer limited by bank reserves. Nor are they directly linked proportional to reserves. Between 1995 and 2008, the value of consumer loans has steadily increased out of proportion to bank reserves. Then, as part of the financial crisis, bank reserves rose dramatically as new loans shrank.
In recent years, some academic economists renowned for their work on the implications of rational expectations have argued that open market operations are irrelevant. These include Robert Lucas, Jr., Thomas Sargent, Neil Wallace, Finn E. Kydland, Edward C. Prescott and Scott Freeman. Keynesian economists point to the ineffectiveness of open market operations in 2008 in the United States, when short-term interest rates went as low as they could go in nominal terms, so that no more monetary stimulus could occur. This zero bound problem has been called the liquidity trap or "pushing on a string" (the pusher being the central bank and the string being the real economy).
Historically, in Europe, the main function of the central bank is to maintain low inflation. In the USA the focus is on both inflation and unemployment. These goals are sometimes in conflict (according to Phillips curve). A central bank may attempt to do this by artificially influencing the demand for goods by increasing or decreasing the nation's money supply (relative to trend), which lowers or raises interest rates, which stimulates or restrains spending on goods and services.
An important debate among economists in the second half of the twentieth century concerned the central bank's ability to predict how much money should be in circulation, given current employment rates and inflation rates. Economists such as Milton Friedman believed that the central bank would always get it wrong, leading to wider swings in the economy than if it were just left alone. This is why they advocated a non-interventionist approach—one of targeting a pre-specified path for the money supply independent of current economic conditions—even though in practice this might involve regular intervention with open market operations (or other monetary-policy tools) to keep the money supply on target.
The former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, suggested in 2004 that over the preceding 10 to 15 years, many modern central banks became relatively adept at manipulation of the money supply, leading to a smoother business cycle, with recessions tending to be smaller and less frequent than in earlier decades, a phenomenon termed "The Great Moderation" This theory encountered criticism during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. Furthermore, it may be that the functions of the central bank may need to encompass more than the shifting up or down of interest rates or bank reserves: these tools, although valuable, may not in fact moderate the volatility of money supply (or its velocity).
In macroeconomics, aggregate demand (AD) or domestic final demand (DFD) is the total demand for final goods and services in an economy at a given time. It specifies the amounts of goods and services that will be purchased at all possible price levels. This is the demand for the gross domestic product of a country. It is often called effective demand, though at other times this term is distinguished.
The aggregate demand curve is plotted with real output on the horizontal axis and the price level on the vertical axis. It is downward sloping as a result of three distinct effects: Pigou's wealth effect, Keynes' interest rate effect and the Mundell–Fleming exchange-rate effect. The Pigou effect states that a higher price level implies lower real wealth and therefore lower consumption spending, giving a lower quantity of goods demanded in the aggregate. The Keynes effect states that a higher price level implies a lower real money supply and therefore higher interest rates resulting from financial market equilibrium, in turn resulting in lower investment spending on new physical capital and hence a lower quantity of goods being demanded in the aggregate.
The Mundell–Fleming exchange-rate effect is an extension of the IS–LM model. Whereas the traditional IS-LM Model deals with a closed economy, Mundell–Fleming describes a small open economy. The Mundell–Fleming model portrays the short-run relationship between an economy's nominal exchange rate, interest rate, and output (in contrast to the closed-economy IS–LM model, which focuses only on the relationship between the interest rate and output).
The aggregate demand curve illustrates the relationship between two factors: the quantity of output that is demanded and the aggregate price level. Aggregate demand is expressed contingent upon a fixed level of the nominal money supply. There are many factors that can shift the AD curve. Rightward shifts result from increases in the money supply, in government expenditure, or in autonomous components of investment or consumption spending, or from decreases in taxes.
According to the aggregate demand-aggregate supply model, when aggregate demand increases, there is movement up along the aggregate supply curve, giving a higher level of prices.Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state's currency, money supply, and interest rates.
Central banks also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and also generally controls the printing/coining of the national currency, which serves as the state's legal tender. A central bank also acts as a "lender of last resort" to the banking sector during times of financial crisis. Most central banks also have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the solvency of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, and to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks.
Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally designed to be independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists.Deflation
In economics, deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services. Deflation occurs when the inflation rate falls below 0% (a negative inflation rate). Inflation reduces the value of currency over time, but deflation increases it. This allows one to buy more goods and services than before with the same amount of currency. Deflation is distinct from disinflation, a slow-down in the inflation rate, i.e. when inflation declines to a lower rate but is still positive.Economists generally believe that deflation is a problem in a modern economy because it increases the real value of debt, especially if the deflation is unexpected. Deflation may also aggravate recessions and lead to a deflationary spiral.Deflation usually happens when supply is high (when excess production occurs), when demand is low (when consumption decreases), or when the money supply decreases (sometimes in response to a contraction created from careless investment or a credit crunch). It can also happen as a result of too much competition and too little market concentration.Demand deposit
Demand deposits, bank money or scriptural money are funds held in demand deposit accounts in commercial banks. These account balances are usually considered money and form the greater part of the narrowly defined money supply of a country. Simply put, these would be funds like those held in a checking account.Demand for money
In monetary economics, the demand for money is the desired holding of financial assets in the form of money: that is, cash or bank deposits rather than investments. It can refer to the demand for money narrowly defined as M1 (directly spendable holdings), or for money in the broader sense of M2 or M3.
Money in the sense of M1 is dominated as a store of value (even a temporary one) by interest-bearing assets. However, M1 is necessary to carry out transactions; in other words, it provides liquidity. This creates a trade-off between the liquidity advantage of holding money for near-future expenditure and the interest advantage of temporarily holding other assets. The demand for M1 is a result of this trade-off regarding the form in which a person's funds to be spent should be held. In macroeconomics motivations for holding one's wealth in the form of M1 can roughly be divided into the transaction motive and the precautionary motive. The demand for those parts of the broader money concept M2 that bear a non-trivial interest rate is based on the asset demand. These can be further subdivided into more microeconomically founded motivations for holding money.
Generally, the nominal demand for money increases with the level of nominal output (price level times real output) and decreases with the nominal interest rate. The real demand for money is defined as the nominal amount of money demanded divided by the price level. For a given money supply the locus of income-interest rate pairs at which money demand equals money supply is known as the LM curve.
The magnitude of the volatility of money demand has crucial implications for the optimal way in which a central bank should carry out monetary policy and its choice of a nominal anchor.
Conditions under which the LM curve is flat, so that increases in the money supply have no stimulatory effect (a liquidity trap), play an important role in Keynesian theory. This situation occurs when the demand for money is infinitely elastic with respect to the interest rate.
A typical money-demand function may be written as
where is the nominal amount of money demanded, P is the price level, R is the nominal interest rate, Y is real income, and L(.) is real money demand. An alternate name for is the liquidity preference function.Economic policy
The economic policy of governments covers the systems for setting levels of taxation, government budgets, the money supply and interest rates as well as the labour market, national ownership, and many other areas of government interventions into the economy.
Most factors of economic policy can be divided into either fiscal policy, which deals with government actions regarding taxation and spending, or monetary policy, which deals with central banking actions regarding the money supply and interest rates.
Such policies are often influenced by international institutions like the International Monetary Fund or World Bank as well as political beliefs and the consequent policies of parties.Fractional-reserve banking
Fractional-reserve banking is the common practice by commercial banks of accepting deposits, and making loans or investments, while holding reserves at least equal to a fraction of the bank's deposit liabilities. Reserves are held as currency in the bank, or as balances in the bank's accounts at the central bank. Fractional-reserve banking is the current form of banking practiced in most countries worldwide.Fractional-reserve banking allows banks to act as financial intermediaries between borrowers and savers, and to provide longer-term loans to borrowers while providing immediate liquidity to depositors (providing the function of maturity transformation). However, a bank can experience a bank run if depositors wish to withdraw more funds than the reserves that are held by the bank. To mitigate the risks of bank runs and systemic crises (when problems are extreme and widespread), governments of most countries regulate and oversee commercial banks, provide deposit insurance and act as lender of last resort to commercial banks.Because banks hold reserves in amounts that are less than the amounts of their deposit liabilities, and because the deposit liabilities are considered money in their own right, fractional-reserve banking permits the money supply to grow beyond the amount of the underlying base money originally created by the central bank. In most countries, the central bank (or other monetary authority) regulates bank credit creation, imposing reserve requirements and capital adequacy ratios. This can limit the process of money creation that occurs in the commercial banking system, and helps to ensure that banks are solvent and have enough funds to meet demand for withdrawals. However, rather than directly controlling the money supply, central banks usually pursue an interest rate target to adjust the rate of inflation and bank issuance of credit.Government bond
A government bond or sovereign bond is a bond issued by a national government, generally with a promise to pay periodic interest payments and to repay the face value on the maturity date. Government bonds are usually denominated in the country's own currency, in which case the government cannot be forced to default, although it may choose to do so. If a government is close to default on its debt the media often refer to this as a sovereign debt crisis.The terms on which a government can sell bonds depend on how creditworthy the market considers it to be. International credit rating agencies will provide ratings for the bonds, but market participants will make up their own minds about this.IS–LM model
The IS–LM model, or Hicks–Hansen model, is a macroeconomic tool that shows the relationship between interest rates (ordinate) and assets market (also known as real output in goods and services market plus money market, as abscissa). The intersection of the "investment–saving" (IS) and "liquidity preference–money supply" (LM) curves models "general equilibrium" where supposed simultaneous equilibria occur in both interest and assets markets. Yet two equivalent interpretations are possible: first, the IS–LM model explains changes in national income when price level is fixed short-run; second, the IS–LM model shows why an aggregate demand curve can shift.
Hence, this tool is sometimes used not only to analyse economic fluctuations but also to suggest potential levels for appropriate stabilisation policies.The model was developed by John Hicks in 1937, and later extended by Alvin Hansen, as a mathematical representation of Keynesian macroeconomic theory. Between the 1940s and mid-1970s, it was the leading framework of macroeconomic analysis. While it has been largely absent from macroeconomic research ever since, it is still a backbone conceptual introductory tool in many macroeconomics textbooks.Inflation
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.
When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation reflects a reduction in the purchasing power per unit of money – a loss of real value in the medium of exchange and unit of account within the economy. A chief measure of price inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index, usually the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation (negative inflation rate).
Inflation affects economies in various positive and negative ways. The negative effects of inflation include an increase in the opportunity cost of holding money, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, and if inflation were rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include reducing unemployment due to nominal wage rigidity, allowing the central bank more leeway in carrying out monetary policy, encouraging loans and investment instead of money hoarding, and avoiding the inefficiencies associated with deflation.
Economists generally believe that the high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth.Today, most economists favor a low and steady rate of inflation. Low (as opposed to zero or negative) inflation reduces the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more quickly in a downturn, and reduces the risk that a liquidity trap prevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy. The task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is usually given to monetary authorities. Generally, these monetary authorities are the central banks that control monetary policy through the setting of interest rates, through open market operations, and through the setting of banking reserve requirements.Monetarism
Monetarism is a school of thought in monetary economics that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. Monetarist theory asserts that variations in the money supply have major influences on national output in the short run and on price levels over longer periods. Monetarists assert that the objectives of monetary policy are best met by targeting the growth rate of the money supply rather than by engaging in discretionary monetary policy.Monetarism today is mainly associated with the work of Milton Friedman, who was among the generation of economists to accept Keynesian economics and then criticise Keynes's theory of fighting economic downturns using fiscal policy (government spending). Friedman and Anna Schwartz wrote an influential book, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, and argued "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon."
Though he opposed the existence of the Federal Reserve, Friedman advocated, given its existence, a central bank policy aimed at keeping the growth of the money supply at a rate commensurate with the growth in productivity and demand for goods.Monetary base
In economics, the monetary base (also base money, money base, high-powered money, reserve money, outside money, central bank money or, in the UK, narrow money) in a country is defined as the portion of a commercial bank's reserves that consist of the commercial bank's accounts with its central bank plus the total currency circulating in the public, plus the currency, also known as vault cash, that is physically held in the bank's vault.The monetary base should not be confused with the money supply which consists of the total currency circulating in the public plus the non-bank deposits with commercial banks.Monetary policy
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, typically the central bank or currency board, controls either the cost of very short-term borrowing or the monetary base, often targeting an inflation rate or interest rate to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency.Further goals of a monetary policy are usually to contribute to the stability of gross domestic product, to achieve and maintain low unemployment, and to maintain predictable exchange rates with other currencies.
Monetary economics provides insight into how to craft an optimal monetary policy. In developed countries, monetary policy has generally been formed separately from fiscal policy, which refers to taxation, government spending, and associated borrowing.Monetary policy is referred to as being either expansionary or contractionary. Expansionary policy occurs when a monetary authority uses its tools to stimulate the economy. An expansionary policy maintains short-term interest rates at a lower than usual rate or increases the total supply of money in the economy more rapidly than usual. It is traditionally used to try to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates in the hope that less expensive credit will entice businesses into expanding. This increases aggregate demand (the overall demand for all goods and services in an economy), which boosts short-term growth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Expansionary monetary policy usually diminishes the value of the currency relative to other currencies (the exchange rate).The opposite of expansionary monetary policy is contractionary monetary policy, which maintains short-term interest rates higher than usual or which slows the rate of growth in the money supply or even shrinks it. This slows short-term economic growth and lessens inflation. Contractionary monetary policy can lead to increased unemployment and depressed borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses, which can eventually result in an economic recession if implemented too vigorously.Monetary policy of the United States
Monetary policy concerns the actions of a central bank or other regulatory authorities that determine the size and rate of growth of the money supply. For example, in the United States, the Federal Reserve is in charge of monetary policy, and implements it primarily by performing operations that influence short-term interest rates.Money
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.
Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private". Counterfeit money can cause good money to lose its value.
The money supply of a country consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and, depending on the particular definition used, one or more types of bank money (the balances held in checking accounts, savings accounts, and other types of bank accounts). Bank money, which consists only of records (mostly computerized in modern banking), forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries.Money creation
Money creation is the process by which the money supply of a country, or of an economic or monetary region, is increased. In most modern economies, most of the money supply is in the form of bank deposits. Central banks monitor the amount of money in the economy by measuring the so-called monetary aggregates.Open market operation
An open market operation (OMO) is an activity by a central bank to give (or take) liquidity in its currency to (or from) a bank or a group of banks. The central bank can either buy or sell government bonds in the open market (this is where the name was historically derived from) or, in what is now mostly the preferred solution, enter into a repo or secured lending transaction with a commercial bank: the central bank gives the money as a deposit for a defined period and synchronously takes an eligible asset as collateral. A central bank uses OMO as the primary means of implementing monetary policy. The usual aim of open market operations is—aside from supplying commercial banks with liquidity and sometimes taking surplus liquidity from commercial banks—to manipulate the short-term interest rate and the supply of base money in an economy, and thus indirectly control the total money supply, in effect expanding money or contracting the money supply. This involves meeting the demand of base money at the target interest rate by buying and selling government securities, or other financial instruments. Monetary targets, such as inflation, interest rates, or exchange rates, are used to guide this implementation.Quantity theory of money
In monetary economics, the quantity theory of money (QTM) states that the general price level of goods and services is directly proportional to the amount of money in circulation, or money supply.The theory was challenged by Keynesian economics, but updated and reinvigorated by the monetarist school of economics. While mainstream economists agree that the quantity theory holds true in the long run, there is still disagreement about its applicability in the short run. Critics of the theory argue that money velocity is not stable and, in the short-run, prices are sticky, so the direct relationship between money supply and price level does not hold.
Alternative theories include the real bills doctrine and the more recent fiscal theory of the price level.Velocity of money
The term "velocity of money" (also "The velocity of circulation of money") refers to how fast money passes from one holder to the next. It can refer to the income velocity of money, which is the frequency at which the average same unit of currency is used to purchase newly domestically-produced goods and services within a given time period. In other words, it is the number of times one unit of money is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. Alternatively and less frequently, it can refer to the transactions velocity of money, which is the frequency with which the average unit of currency is used in any kind of transaction in which it changes possession—not only the purchase of newly produced goods, but also the purchase of financial assets and other items."
If the velocity of money is increasing, then transactions are occurring between individuals more frequently. The velocity of money changes over time and is influenced by a variety of factors.