Monday, 29 May 2017

No Savings Glut, Just Inflated Savings Deposit Accounts

There are no short cuts to the process of accumulating savings: it is always a surplus of production over consumption that generates it.

The issuance of more fiat money and the increase in savings deposits that necessarily will follow must not be confused with saving however. Technically speaking, the issuance of new money results in both an asset (loan) and a liability (deposit) being recorded on bank (or central bank) balance sheet since money is created as debt. Savings on the other hand, accumulated from production exceeding consumption, is an asset only. As professor de Soto explains, *
Saving always requires that an economic agent reduce his consumption (i.e. sacrifice), thus freeing real goods. Saving does not arise from a simple increase in monetary units. That is, the mere fact that the new money is not immediately spent on consumer goods does not mean it is saved.
And, as the chart shows, growth in savings deposits has outpaced growth in saving on a scale not seen before during the last 42 years.

Since it makes little economic sense to speak of a "glut in savings deposits" and since there certainly appears to be a major shortage of government and private saving... follow that it makes sense to speak of a "saving shortage relative to savings deposits" in the U.S. instead.

Jesús Huerta de Soto, Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, 3rd ed., 2012, p. 697.

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