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   Chapter 36 BORROWING AND LOANING MONEY[10]

Up To Date Business By Various Characters: 7300

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


THE MONEY MARKET

Money, like other articles of commerce, has for hundreds of years had its fields for the production of the raw products, its manufacturing establishments, its markets and exchange centres, its sellers and buyers, its wholesale and retail dealers, and its brokers and commission merchants. Out of this trade in actual coin has grown a trade in paper notes, which are really only promises to pay coin, and out of this latter trade has grown up during recent years a still further enormous trade in securities representing all kinds of property. Very often these securities are based solely upon the credit of the names attached to them, so that our modern system of borrowing and loaning money is really a system of borrowing and loaning credit. When our government borrows $100,000,000, as it did a few years ago, it gives "its bond" that the money will be paid. When States, or cities, or railroads, or other corporations borrow money they issue bonds guaranteeing payment at a particular time. When an individual borrows money he gives his "bond" in the form of a promissory note. These bonds pass from hand to hand and have a fairly constant value in the money market. They really represent the money trade to a much larger extent than does actual coin, so that the borrowing or loaning of money really means, to a very large extent, simply the borrowing or loaning of credit. If we borrow a $10 gold piece we borrow money; if we borrow a $10 bill or an indorser's name for the back of our note we simply borrow credit-in the one instance the credit of the United States and in the other the credit of the man who indorses our paper.

FOOTNOTE:

[10]The student is also referred to Part I. ("General Business Information"), Lesson IX.

BORROWING FROM BANKS

It is the business of a bank to loan money to responsible persons within reasonable limits. The regular customer of the bank is entitled to and will receive the first consideration if the demand is larger than the bank can safely meet. A business man should not hesitate, when occasion requires, to offer his bank any paper he may want discounted, if in his opinion it is good, nor should he be offended if his banker refuses to take it even without giving reasons. A portion of the loans of many banks consists of investments in solid bonds, but the bulk of the loans of banks is made on commercial paper. Time and demand loans are made upon collaterals of many descriptions. The larger banks loan on an average from $50,000 to $100,000 a day. Banks discount paper for their depositors-and simply term the operation discounting; but when they go outside of their line of depositors in making investments in time paper they call it buying paper. They generally buy from private bankers and note brokers. National banks are prohibited from loaning over ten per cent. of their capital to any one individual or corporation except upon paper representing actually existing merchandise.

WHAT ARE COLLATERALS?

If a business man borrow $1000 from a bank on his note and give ten shares of stock to the bank, to be held by it simply as security, the stock thus given would be termed collateral. These collaterals are not the bank's property and the bank is responsible for their safe keeping. If coupons mature while bonds are being held as collateral, the owners are usually allowed to collect the amount for which they sell. Sometimes one note is given as collateral security for another which is discounted.

ACCOMMODATION PAPER

Notes and acceptances that are made in settlement of genuine business transactions come under the head of regular, legitimate b

usiness paper. An accommodation note or acceptance is one which is signed or indorsed or accepted simply as an accommodation and not in settlement of an account or in payment of an indebtedness. With banks accommodation paper has a deservedly hard reputation. However, there are all grades and shades of accommodation paper, though it represents no actual business transaction between the parties to it and rests upon no other foundation than that of mutual agreement. No contract is good without a consideration, but this is only true between the original parties to a note. The third party, or innocent receiver or holder of a note, has a good title and can recover its value even though it was originally given without a valuable consideration. An innocent holder of a note which had been originally lost or stolen has a good title to it if he received it for value, the law justly protecting such a holder against the fault or carelessness of others.

NOTE BROKERS

Merchants sell a great many of their notes in the open market-that is, to note brokers. The banks buy these notes from the note brokers. The assistance of the broker who handles commercial paper is a necessary and valuable aid to the purchasing bank. Fully three fourths of all the paper purchased by banks in large cities is purchased upon the simple recommendation of the note brokers. As a rule these brokers simply transfer the paper without guaranteeing by indorsement its payment. Notes bought by banks from note brokers without their indorsement are held to be guaranteed by them to be all right in all points except that which covers the question of whether they will be paid or not. The bank uses its best judgment in taking the risk. If the note dealer in selling notes to a bank makes what he believes to be fair and honest representations regarding any particular paper-statements of such a straightforward type that upon them no charge of false pretenses can be made to rest-he simply guarantees the note genuine as to names, date, amount, etc., and that in selling it he conveys a good title to the paper. As business men, however, they are very cautious and are exceedingly anxious that the paper they sell shall be paid, and as a rule they make good any losses which grow out of apparent misrepresentations on their part.

BANKERS' RATES FOR LOANS

In loaning money on demand, when it is strictly understood between bank and borrower that the money so advanced is positively minute money-money returnable at any minute when the bank calls for it-banks usually charge low rates of interest. When interest rates are high bankers prefer to deal in long-time paper. This general rule is reversed when the situation is reversed. Bankers aim also to scatter and locate their maturities so that as the seasons roll around they will not have very large amounts maturing at one time and very small amounts at another. They plan also to be "in funds" at those seasons when there is always a large and profitable demand for money. For instance, in the centres of the cotton-manufacturing interest the banks count on a large demand for money between October and January, when the bulk of the purchases to supply the mills are made. Again, among those who operate and deal in wool there is an active demand for money in the wool-clip in the spring months. The wheat and corn crops are autumn consumers of money. Midwinter and midsummer in the north are usually periods of comparative stagnation in the money market. All these things affect rates, and the successful banker is he who from observation and large experience shows the most skill in timing his money supply.

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