Thursday, January 19, 2023

And we take safety for granted..............

      In our common speculations we do not enough remember that interest on money is a refined idea, and not a universal one.  So far indeed is it from being universal, that the majority of saving persons in most countries would reject it.  Most savings in most countries are held in hoarded specie.  In Asia, in Africa, in South America, largely even in Europe, they are thus held, and it would frighten most of the owners to let them out of their keeping.  An Englishman—a modern Englishman at least—assumes as a first principle that he out to be able to "put his money into something safe that will yield 3 per cent," but most saving persons in most countries are afraid to "put their money" into anything.  Nothing is safe in their minds, indeed, in most countries, owing to a bad Government and a backward industry, no investment, or hardly any, really is safe.

-Walter Bagehot, as excerpted from Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market

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