The foundations of money, payments and central banking: A review essay
The purpose of this paper is to understand the economics behind the evolution of payments where by payments I mean the â€˜transfer of monetary valueâ€™ (in return for goods, services, or real or financial assets). It is clear from this definition of payments that, in order for there to be payments, there first needs to be money. So, the paper first discusses why money might evolve as a result of some frictions inherent in real-world economies. It then discusses the evolution of banks, arguing that banks developed in order to provide payment services (making â€˜moneyâ€™ work more efficiently). The paper then discusses how banks can save on the use of collateral to make payments â€“ collateral that they can convert into loans to earn a return â€“ by the development of â€˜payment systemsâ€™. Such systems will involve some form of netting of payments (clearing) and final settlement in some asset. â€˜Central banksâ€™ fit into this picture by providing, in their liabilities, a settlement asset that the other banks are happy to use. In so doing, they are incentivised to worry about monetary and financial stability
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