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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about War-Time Financial Problems.

By this revolution Sir Edward would abolish all legal restriction on the issue of notes by the Bank of England.  It would hold a certain amount of gold or a certain amount of cash balance against its notes, but in the “cash balance” Sir Edward apparently would include 11 millions odd of Government debt, or of Treasury notes.  As long as its notes were only three times the amount of the gold or of the “cash balance,” and were backed as to the other two-thirds by bills of exchange, the situation would be regarded as normal, but if, owing to abnormal circumstances, the Bank desired to increase the amount of notes issued against bills of exchange only and to reduce the ratio of its gold or its cash balance to its notes, it would, at any time, be enabled to do so by the payment of a tax, without going through the humiliating necessity for an appeal to the Treasury to allow it to exceed the legal limit.

At the same time, by the abolition of Peel’s Act the cumbrous methods of stating the Bank’s position, as published week by week in the Bank Return, would be abolished.  The two accounts would be put together, with the result that the Bank’s position would be apparently stronger than it appears to be under the present system, which makes the Banking Department’s Return weak at the expense of the great strength that it gives to the appearance of the Issue Department.  This will be shown from the following statement given by Sir Edward Holden of the Return as issued on January 16th, and as amended according to his ideas:—­

BANK STATEMENT, JANUARY 16, 1918.

ISSUE DEPARTMENT

Notes Issued ..  L76,076,000  Gold ..................  L57,626,000
Government Debt .......  11,015,000
Other Securities ......   7,435,000
-----------                          -----------
L76,076,000                          L76,076,000
Ratio of Gold to Notes Issued = 75.7 per cent.

BANKING DEPARTMENT.

Capital .......  L14,553,000  Government Securities ......  L56,768,000
Rest ..........   3,363,000  Other Securities ...........  92,278,000
Deposits--                   Notes ..........  L30,750,000
Public   L41,416,000         Gold and Silver    1,143,000
Other    121,589,000
----------- 163,005,000            -------------  31,893,000
Other Liabilities ...     18,000
-----------                          -----------
L180,939,000                         L180,939,000

Ratio of Cash Balance to Liabilities = 19.6 per cent.

RECONSTRUCTED BALANCE-SHEET OF THE BANK,
JANUARY 16, 1918.

Capital L14,553,000
Rest 3,363,000
Notes Issued (circulation) 45,325,000
Deposits 163,005,000
Other Liabilities 18,000
                          ___________
                         L226,264,000

Gold L58,768,000
Currency Notes 11,015,000
                     ___________ L69,783,000

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