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Basics of Banking: Loan Create a Lot More Than Deposits by John Carney



In an article by John Carney, Basics of Banking: Loan Create a Lot More Than Deposits, the author demonstrates the basic ideas of broad capital creation as well as an overview on how both customers and the Banks’ balance sheet are likely to be affected by the creation of money. However, this article is not correct on all the opinions presented. Therefore, this essay is aimed at focusing on correct analysis of the article.

Part I

Loans create deposits

Most historians, in the olden days, claim that it is always better than most citizens stay in the dark on how the banking system functions. This is because, if they knew, an uprise and revolution would take place almost instantly. A few economists have acknowledged that most of the assumptions made regarding how the banking system functions are wrong. To acquire a perception of how the new position held by banks is radical, people must first take into considerations the traditional perspective, which persistently continues to act as the ground to all the rational debates relating to public policy. People tend to save their money in banks. The money saved tend be lend out to other individuals and corporations at a given interest.

The borrowers range from consumers spreading to the entrepreneurs and business people who, in most instances, are at will to make investments using the money to accrue gains from some profitable enterprises. In truism, banks are permitted by the fractional reserve system to lend out considerably more money than the amounts held in their reserves. It is also a fact that in cases where the savings do not suffice, private banking institutions are at liberty to seek borrowing more amounts from the central bank.

The central bank has the mandate of printing as much money as they wish. However, it is careful and cautious to avoid printing a lot of cash. In fact, this is one of the significant explanations as to why there is the existence of independent central banks in the first place. Too much money could be put out in a situation where federal governments can print money themselves. The resultant effect of this move would be inflation which would consequently push the economy into chaos. Institutions such as the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England were carefully established with an objective of regulating the supply of money to prevent or curb inflation. This explains the concepts as to why such institutions are restricted to fund the government directly through activities such as purchasing the treasury bonds. Instead, the institutions tend to support the private sectors or the economy in their actions since it is the field which the government usually taxes (Banks, risk, and economic growth: a theoretical analysis, 2007).

More Read: Instant Loan Apps

With this kind of understanding and equipped with this kind of information, talks and debates regarding money are likely to persist just as is the case with limited resources such as petroleum and bauxite. Usually, it is contended that there is small money to facilitate the funding of social programs and initiatives. This further explains the immortality associated with the public expenditure or government debt thus crowding out the private sectors. Most banks, such as the Bank of England, however, admits that none of these allegations is real or true. In summary, instead of the banks receiving deposits once there are savings done by the households and later lending them out, the lending done by banks creates deposits. In truism, the central bank rarely fixes or dictates the amount of cash released into circulation, and neither is the money from the central bank multiplied up into more loans and deposits (Dilley, n.d.).

In another explanation, everything people know is not merely wrong, but in other words, it is backward. As the banks make loans, they tend to create money. This is because money, in this case, is just an IOU. The functions and roles of the central bank are to preside over the legal orders which tend to efficiently grant other banks the exclusive responsibilities and rights to establish the IOUs of a particular nature, the ones that are recognizable by the governments as legal tenders by its willingness to acknowledge and accept them in payment of fees and taxes (Press, 2010).

In reality, there are no limits as to the amount of money the banks can create so long as they acquire a person or an entity that is willful to borrow it. In such cases, they are unlikely to get caught short or inadequate, for a simple explanation that the borrowers do not, typically arguing, take the money and put it in their homes or place it under their mattresses. Consequently, any amount of cash lends out by the banks as loans will ultimately come back to the bank some time again. For the entire banking system, every credit given out becomes a deposit. Insofar as the banks are concerned, all they are required to do is to obtain the money from the central bank; they can borrow as much amount of money as they wish. All the central bank is needed to do is set and indicate the interest rates payable which are the cost of the cash rather than its quantity. Since the start of the recession, the British and U.S central banks have cut down the costs to nearly nothing. With the quantitative easing, there is an active and efficient pumping and supply of as much cash as they possibly can into the financial institutions, with the absence of a likelihood of to create any inflationary implications (Banks, risk, and economic growth : a theoretical analysis, 2007).

What is meant by this is that the actual limit on the amounts of capital inflow is not the amount that the central banks could be willing to lend, but instead, it is the amount that the ordinary citizens, federal governments, and firms are at will to borrow? Government expenditure is the key driver in all this concept. This is acknowledged even by economists and financial bloggers such as John Carney that the government is funded by the central bank. This, therefore, gets rid of the question as to whether the public spending tends to crowd out the private sector. Notably, the situation is exactly opposite (Dilley, n.d.).

This has been admitted by some banks as it is the truth. One of the roles and responsibilities of the bank is actually to run and govern the system. However, it has been noted that the system has been experiencing hitches. There is a possibility that the system decided and concluded that the maintenance of the fantasy-world type of economics proved to be only a convenience to the wealthy and prosperous and is a luxury which, to them, is no longer unaffordable. However, from a political perspective, this move is taking a significant risk. One should take into considerations as to what is likely to happen to the mortgage holders in case it came to their understanding that money they borrowed from various banks is not, in actual sense, the savings made by the thrifty pensioners but instead, it is something whisked into existence by the bank by means of magic wand possession which the public handed over to it (Banks, risk, and economic growth: a theoretical analysis, 2007).

If people take lightly the capital limitations put into place by the financial institutions themselves or by the country, then, in that case, it can lend as much as they wish. While banks cannot give out more money than they possess, they can raise the money they have at will. In terms of accounting, when money is lent out by the banks, they do not go for the cash stored in their vaults but instead, they borrowers account credited merely (depositing the money from thin air) and then adding the same amounts of money in their account to ensure that the credit and debit match. The main reason as to why it is impossible to lend out infinite amounts of cash is because once money is borrowed, the person tends to spend it and thus the deposit or credit funds are transferred to another person’s account in another bank. In a case where the borrower is to use the money in an unsuccessful business, the financier or lender is unlikely to get their money back (Cranston, Avgouleas & Zwieten, n.d.).

A Bank L+E

Loan: + 500 Deposit: +500

A Customer L+E

Deposit: +500 Loan: +500

The element of default normally restrains bank lending. It is worth mentioning that the deposit multiplier tends to work once the money is limited to coin. This is because its physical limitations usually restrict the supply. However, also in times of moneychanger and goldsmith during the pre-modern era, the bankers lend out money from thin air by the use of their accounts rather than the coins held in the vaults. They faced challenges in the sense that they were required to transfer capital to a person’s mind who needed a loan when paying for something. In such instances, the coins were not required for the inter-bank payment which did not balance out (Press, 2010).

An increase in the supply of money does not lower the interests. Capitals are not like other consumable goods. For instance, when a person buys an apple, they eat it, but in the cases where a person obtains money, the money is reflected in supply as an individual’s deposit. The supply and demand of funds usually match in totality which is a concept applied by the central banks in keeping the system solvent. However, the central bank has the abilities to set the interest rates they desire at interbank loan markets since they can establish inflation or scarcity at will which is not tied to the total money supply (Burton & Brown, n.d.).

Part II

Positive Countercyclical Capital Buffer

Canada is one of the various nations that practice a positive countercyclical capital buffer. As learned from the global financial crisis, regulatory capital necessities are an essential procyclicality source which can amplify the credit cycle in the periods of bust and boom. For instance, before the crisis during the good times, when risks were analyzed to be low, there were also small capital requirements which enhanced the ease of the lending conditions as well as credit expansion. However, in the downturn, the assessed vulnerability of the bank assets increased which lead to an incline in the capital requirement levels at a time when raising the funds level was expensive and challenging due to the losses. In such cases, money regulations led to increased pressures on the financial institutions to decrease their balance sheets’ balance bearing significant adverse repercussions for the provision of credit as well as economic activity (Kalatie, Laakkonen & Tölö, 2015).

The reduction of the bank procyclicality lending can assist in the sustenance of the economic development in times of stress. One method of attaining this is through the establishment of a countercyclical capital buffer which can increase the needed bank capital level during the boom period and permit it to be drawn down at periods when the cycle turns. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), on July 16th, 2010, released a buffer proposal which outlined the aims and underlying decision-making framework applicable in setting a buffer. It also provided a numerical guideline capable of serving as an original information source when making such decisions. The oversight entity for the BCBS, known as the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, on September 12th, affirmed the buffer as part of the reforms initiatives to the world capital regulations (Countercyclical capital buffer proposal, 2010). The capital conservation buffer, as well as the countercyclical buffer, was to phase at the start of January 1st, 2016 and is expected to come into full effect on January 1st, 2019.

In a report given by the GHOS, they outlined the essential elements of the framework for the countercyclical money buffer as proposed by the BCBS. The components indicated some flexibility regarding how the shield would be implemented in each jurisdiction. This was followed by some examples of the types of the information which could be applied in the informing of the applications of the Buffer by the Canadian government, authorities and banking systems (Banks, risk, and economic growth: a theoretical analysis, 2007).

The BSC was inclusive of the methodologies that could be used in the calculation of the global consistent referencing guides to assist in the establishment of the countercyclical buffer. The outline would be a part of the information set applied by each jurisdiction in the decision making of the programs relating to the barriers. It is significant to stress, however, that the government could dictate the size of the buffer on the grounds of their judgment, by the use of a broad array of information obtained on macro-financial situations instead of the basis of the simple fixed quantitative regulation (Countercyclical capital buffer proposal, 2010).

The data used in the establishment of the countercyclical financial buffer would require obtaining both upswings and downswings present in the economic cycle. Durations during which the system-wide vulnerabilities are mounting would be about the buildup period of the buffer and eras of sharp contraction when there was the start of materialization of the risk, which corresponded to the buffer’s release phase. However, there is unlikelihood that an individual measure had the capabilities of reliably capturing both the buildup and release phases, since the former needs a sound leading-signal properties while the latter ought to be a reliable contemporaneous indicator. Consequently, a constant variable to the proxy for the buildup session varies considerably from its long-run pattern during the boom durations. However, it sufficiently dictates out the requirements such as non-functioning loans which are normally bounded at zero and may restrict the contents of the information in credit spreads. The latter variables, in contrast, may serve as information sources on the timing of the release session (Countercyclical capital buffer proposal, 2010).

In this case, the indicators may serve to be more informative when combined than when single. When the numerous indicators show the emergence of increased credit growth and the increasing system-broad vulnerabilities, the officials can decide and conclude on activating the buffer or may be at will to make adjustments in establishing more forcefully.


Conclusively, the article was an outline of major money creation concepts applied in the modern banks. The author has exhibited decent illustrations and arguments on understanding the creation of money. However, the writer has some wrong opinions leading to a misunderstanding and misconception in regard to the banking principles and systems. Most prominent mistakes are on the balance sheet of the bank in that, a bank does not go its reserves to source out money to loan out.


Banks, risk, and economic growth : a theoretical analysis. (2007).

Burton, M., & Brown, B. The financial system and the economy.

Countercyclical capital buffer proposal. (2010). [Basel, Switzerland].

Cranston, R., Avgouleas, E., & Zwieten, K. Principles of banking law.

Dilley, D. Essentials of banking.

Kalatie, S., Laakkonen, H., & Tölö, E. (2015). Indicators used in setting the countercyclical capital buffer. Helsinki: Bank of Finland.

Press, W. (2010). Congo, Dem. Rep. of Money and Banking. Petaluma: World Trade Press.



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