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Box 6: Money as information – electronic money in the Bank of England A reserve account at the Bank of England is not a physical vault where coins and paper money can be kept. It is just an accounting record in a computer database – in technical terms it is no more complex than a number in an Excel spreadsheet. Central bank reserves refer to the numbers stored in this computer record. Central bank reserves are not tangible, and cannot be stolen in the way that physical cash can. Central bank reserves cost nothing to produce, as one billion can be created in the same length of time that it takes to type out the following numbers: 1,000,000,000. It is important to appreciate the fact that all money, bar a small amount of paper notes and coins, is no more than a digital record in a computer database. In fact, if you were able to access the database that holds the central bank reserve accounts, it may look like this:

Account Name

Balance

Barclays Plc

£125,352,003,023.54

Lloyds Banking Group

£250,015,135,010.24

The central bank reserves are no more tangible than the £375 billion typed out above. The entire record of balances of the central bank reserve schemes will take up less space on the Bank of England’s computer hard drive than the average song on an MP3 player.*

Andrew Jackson - Where Does Money Come From - Positive Money pdf from epub  

Andrew Jackson - Where Does Money Come From - Positive Money pdf from epub

Andrew Jackson - Where Does Money Come From - Positive Money pdf from epub  

Andrew Jackson - Where Does Money Come From - Positive Money pdf from epub

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