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Deflation: M3 Shrinking at 9.6% Annual Pace

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Telegraph UK

The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history.

The M3 figures - which include broad range of bank accounts and are tracked by British and European monetarists for warning signals about the direction of the US economy a year or so in advance - began shrinking last summer. The pace has since quickened.

The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37pc rate, the sharpest drop ever.

"It’s frightening," said Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. "The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly," he said.

The US authorities have an entirely different explanation for the failure of stimulus measures to gain full traction. They are opting instead for yet further doses of Keynesian spending, despite warnings from the IMF that the gross public debt of the US will reach 97pc of GDP next year and 110pc by 2015.


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Also: Felix Zulauf on King World News: Deflaton; Hyperinflation; Currency Reform Coming

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Seeing as Amurricans don't

Seeing as Amurricans don't have an actual economy to support that money, it's no wonder there's less and less of it.

"I lost hope in America when I realized they're just gonna keep falling for the same tired bullshit, election after election, after election." -Me

I am out of touch with most Americans precisely because I am not out of touch with reality.

Does this mean gold and

Does this mean gold and silver will come down in price?

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

When they pull th plug on the silver manipulation

Will silver prices skyrocket as money value crashes?

Free includes debt-free!

I'm torn on silver. Maybe,

I'm torn on silver. Maybe, just maybe silver will come down with the economy because it is used more for industrial stuff, not monetary. Gold on the other hand is used more for money than industry.

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

But we need a money to use every day

With eggs and milk, silver has held its value for 100 years.

The mint took the silver out of our coins in 1964. Leaving us with paper money and token coins.

End the Fed!

Free includes debt-free!

Money supply matters, how should it be measured?

There is a lot of good commentary here, but I aver that the goverment's numbers are nearly useless and are designed to hide more than the reveal.

Money supply matters, how should it be measured?
Rothbard defines "money is the general medium of exchange, the thing that all other goods and services are traded for, the final payment for such goods and services on the market."

"In other words, it must be the thing that fully extinguishes the debt incurred in a transaction." adds Pollaro.

TMS1: A narrow definition of the money supply, based largely on Shostak's AMS formulation of money — excluding savings deposits but adding back bank deposit sweep programs (those monies banks "sweep" out of demand deposit accounts and into savings and MMDAs to lower effective reserve requirements).

TMS2: A broad definition of the money supply based on Rothbard and Salerno's TMS formulation of money, brought current in accordance with the conclusions presented in this essay; it is the most complete and most correct measure of the money supply.

Here are Pollaro's historical charts

The benefit of Shadowstats.com is that it demonstrates how GDP measurements, for esample, have been tweeked to hide 31 quarters of negative growth. The GDP is a stupid number, as it is an indicator of the government's income streams, not of any economically useful measure of our national productivity.

I emailed Pollaro asking about the money supply under a Gold Standard or equivalent. What I understood him saying is that variation in the supply of Gold are small but eliminating fractional reserve banking is needed to minimize fluctuation and all but eliminate the business cycle.

Here's my Forum entry with links:

As an real engineer not a social engineer, I look for things that reflect what is real. Numbers generated under a fixed and sound definitions are technically useful. Best I've seen so far.

Free includes debt-free!

Republicae's picture

Thanks Paul_S, that's some

Thanks Paul_S, that's some great information. Someone on one of the threads suggested that one of the reasons the FED stopped publishing the M3 might be to conceal "deflation". I would find that contrary to the tactics used by the FED/GOV since the 30s to use the fear of deflation as a virtual license to inflate and spend as though there were no tomorrow. If there were deflation the FED, instead of hiding it would be the first to broadcast it from the rooftops, it would open the doors to what they do best: INFLATE.

It is inflation they always seek to hide from the public, the entire fiat monetary system is one massive fraud that uses monetary inflationary depreciation to redistribute the productive wealth of the people into the hands of government, government sponsored agencies and those who are politically connected.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

Thanks for noticing!

Republicae, I would appreciate your thoughts on these Austrian Money Metrics. I think Mike Pollaro has created an invaluable tool.

All other viewpoints and debate are also welcome!

Free includes debt-free!

Republicae's picture

It's on target and is in

It's on target and is in close alignment with the definitions of money presented by Mises, Rothbard, Salerno, deSoto, Shostak, Sennholz, Hulsmann, Hatch and of course the fundaments formulated by Menger and Bastiat. In fact, if you look closely it even follows some of the more historical legal views about the definitions of money and therefore, it provides us with a far more accurate view of the actions being taken by the FED/GOV.

He is also absolutely correct in stating the the current "M" definitions were inspired by Keynesians and Monetarists, that alone should give everyone here on the DP hesitation when viewing the information provided by the FED in these reports. The predictive value of the Official M's should be held with the greatest skepticism, so far the bulk of "economists" who have depended so much on the Official FED reports have a long record of failure in their predictions.

It should be obvious that any conclusions reached by those who depend the Official FED reports reach those conclusions based upon information that is skewed, both by the information entered and the ideology held by those creating the reports.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

Sometimes bad is bad.

Shadowstats shows 38 of the last 40 quarters have had negative growth in GDP measure using pre-1980 methods.

Under-reported unemployment!

Under-reported inflation!

Over-reported growth!

Or as George Carlin said, I never believe what the government of the media says.

So how does this re-plotting of the data affect the conclusion of the OP?

Free includes debt-free!

Republicae's picture

There are two very

There are two very interesting caveats to this article. One is found in this paragraph:

However, Mr Ashworth warned against a mechanical interpretation of money supply figures. "You could argue that M3 has been going down because people have been taking their money out of accounts to buy stocks, property and other assets," he said.

The other caveat is found in the following:
** While the Fed does not publish M3, it still publishes the underlying components. The indicator is reconstructed accurately for clients by Dr John Williams.

Now, when we actually look at Shadow Government Statistics published by John Williams we see something that indicates that the so-called drastic contraction in the money supply is actually a decline in the growth rate of the “reconstructed” M3, not the actual supply itself. Yet, as always, the deflationists are eager to jump on such information as though it were actually stating that there is deflation taking place on the scale of the 1930s. As I have said before, there are fundamental differences between the monetary economy we currently live under and that of the 1930s, the differences are between a partial fiat monetary system of the 30s and the pure fiat monetary system of today.

Now, if we are to believe what John Williams is indicating, and in fact what he is saying within the charts displayed on his site then it appears that he reached a very different conclusion than is assumed by this article.

As such, there are measurements indicated on his site that draw a contrast between government figures and his construction based on the evidence he is witnessing. The alternative measurements, such as Williams CPI, show that instead of there being deflation that inflation is still well above official levels. While there has been a drop in the rate of inflation from a high of around 9% at the end of 2008 to a low of around 1% by mid-2009, since that time the rate of inflation has once again risen to around 9.9% according to Williams at the end of April 2010.

Now, the most interesting thing about the Alternate Money Supply charts evidenced on Williams site is that instead of showing a decline in the supply it clearly states that the drop is in the RATE of GROWTH of the supply. You will note what Williams states about the very chart that is being used by those crying deflation:

Note: A downward slope in this growth curve does not necessarily mean that the money supply is dropping. Only if the curve goes below zero does that show money supply having contracted over a full twelve months.
Also, for money supply changes over periods of less than a year, such need to be viewed on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Unadjusted change over short periods may show changes that are little more than regular seasonal variations. Short-term changes also may run counter to year-to-year change, as seen in the latter part of 2009, for example.

You will further note that when you look at the charts provided by Williams to denote the Annual Growth and Money Stock levels since 2006, the picture is quite different. For instance, the M3 Money Supply with the SGS Continuation shows that instead of the M3 [post official version] being at $10,000 Billion Dollars, it is around the $1400 Billion Dollars. The SGS M2 shows a supply of $8500 Billion Dollars, the SGS M1 around $1700 Billion and the Monetary Base at $2000 Billion.

What I find extremely interesting is that while the deflationists are using William’s charts to “prove” deflation is emanate, Williams himself is still calling for a Hyperinflationary event on the horizon. In his Hyperinflation update, he makes it very clear that there are forces at play that could easily produce a hyperinflationary depression.

Separately, as reported by the Fed in its second-quarter 2009 flow-of-funds analysis, foreign holders of U.S. assets have something in excess of $10 trillion in liquid dollar-denominated assets that could be dumped at will into the global and U.S. markets. In perspective, U.S. M3 is somewhat over $14 trillion.
Helping to fuel those holdings, the Fed has been using the excess reserves deposited with it by U.S. banks to buy troubled mortgage-backed securities from financially stressed institutions, and some of the institutions benefitting likely are located outside the United States.

As excess dollars get pumped into the global markets, a shift in the tide against the U.S. dollar gets reflected in a weakening exchange rate, which in turn spikes dollar-denominated commodity prices, such as oil. That effect has been seen in recent months, with the result that U.S. consumer inflation has started to resurface, not from strong economic demand and a surging domestic money supply, but from distended monetary policies and a global glut of dollars encouraged by the U.S. central bank.

Demand and supply affect the U.S. dollar. Supply soars and demand shrinks with the increasing unwillingness of major dollar holders to continue holding the existing volume of U.S. currency and dollar-denominated assets, let alone to absorb new exposure.

Therein lies a significant threat to near-term U.S. inflation. Heavy dumping of the U.S. dollar and dollar-denominated assets would be highly inflationary to U.S. consumer prices. It also likely would activate heavy Fed intervention in buying unwanted U.S. Treasuries. When the Fed moves to buy Treasuries as the lender of last resort — to monetize U.S. debt well beyond anything seen to date — that also would tend to trigger renewed growth in the otherwise flagging broad money growth.

In order to get the broad money supply to grow, the federal government has to spend and borrow more money, where the Fed will have to buy large quantities of the Treasury’s securities, monetizing the federal debt. The liquidity action to date has been primarily buying otherwise illiquid mortgage-backed securities off the balance sheets of troubled banks. The domestic banks in turn have leant substantial excess reserves back to the Fed, rather than lending into the normal stream of commerce, which would spike the money supply and otherwise be something of an economic positive.

The Fed remains the U.S. Treasury’s lender of last resort. Panicked dollar selling and dumping of dollar-denominated paper assets — particularly U.S. Treasuries — likely would force the Fed’s hand in a rapid monetizing of Treasury debt. John Williams

Williams states that when the annual GAAP-based accounting system is used that instead of the Official figures you arrive at a deficit of around $5.1 Trillion for 2008 and $8.8 Trillion Dollar deficit for 2009. Now, since those deficits represent spending, where are those dollars coming from? They are certainly not reported by any of the Official Federal Reserve Reports.

Below, Williams makes it clear about the indicators he is witnessing:

Even with the government’s spending, debt and obligations running far beyond the ability of the government to cover with taxes or the political willingness of the government to cut entitlement spending, the inevitable inflationary collapse, based solely on these funding needs, possibly could have been pushed well into the next decade. Yet, the printing presses already are running, and the Fed is working actively to debase the U.S. dollar. Actions already taken to contain the systemic solvency crisis and to stimulate the economy, plus the ongoing devastating impact of a severe economic contraction on tax revenues, have set the stage for a much earlier crisis. Risks are high for the hyperinflation beginning to break in the year ahead; it likely cannot be avoided beyond 2014.

It is this environment of rapid fiscal deterioration and related massive funding needs, the U.S. dollar remains open to a rapid and massive decline and to the dumping of U.S. Treasuries. The Federal Reserve would be forced to monetize significant sums of Treasury debt, triggering the early phases of a monetary inflation. Under such circumstance multi-trillion dollar deficits rapidly would feed into a vicious, self-feeding cycle of currency debasement and hyperinflation. John Williams

While I will not go as far as Williams and say that Hyperinflation will break within the next year, I will say that there has been a most definite convergence of monetary forces, [most of which never seem to be considered by the deflationists] that I find hard to exclude the possibility of escaping a hyperinflationary depression in the next few years.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun


The Dollar is now equal to 1.20 Euro up from 1.49 euro only a year ago, sounds like deflation to me. I think we will have a strong dollar for quite some time, in spite of all the things the fed tries to do.

Strong relative to what?

Other paper, sure. Strong relative to food prices and other commodities, doubtful.



where was the dollar compared

where was the dollar compared to the euro before 2001?

...lol... oooookkkkkk

...lol... oooookkkkkk

Republicae's picture

To prove the Federal

To prove the Federal Reserve’s official definitions of the money supply are skewed one need look no further than the data released by the FED in 2009. If you look at the M charts, for instance, dated between May 2009 and June 2009 you will see something very interesting and very, very revealing!

During that month the reported monetary base stood at around $1.8 Trillion, but during that same month the total money supply was reported at $1.6 Trillion, but due to the way money is defined by the Federal Reserve the reality was that the actual amount was $2.34 Trillion, those are substantial discrepancies. Essentially, that means that there was a far greater expansion [inflation] of the money supply than was reported. While it was reported that there was approximately a 16% increase the reality is that there was close over a 70% increase within a very short period of time.

The discrepancy is between what was reported as the monetary base and the total money supply, the problem arises when the monetary base exceeds the total money supply because the monetary base is part of the total money supply it is, or should be impossible for a part to exceed the total sum of the money supply. However, if you look at what was reported that is exactly what it shows. A “part” cannot exceed the “whole”! So, the question is just how did the monetary base get larger than the total money supply as reported by FED?

If you are depending on reports like the M1, M2 or the discontinued M3 to decide that there is deflation in our future are depending on skewed, distorted information. What has happen in the few years is a practice that essentially conceals the actual amount of “money” issued by the Federal Reserve Banking System. There are very good reasons why the FED wants to conceal such information or at least obscure that information through complexities that few people, even economists, notice.

What the FED has done is conceal about half of all transaction deposits in the M1; they do this by allowing banks to use what are called deposit sweeps. A deposit sweep is when banks, for the purpose of reducing their statutory reserve requirements, reclassify checkable deposits as savings deposits. In addition to that little slight-of-hand, the FOMC has expanded the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to unprecedented levels; the question is how much is actually being revealed about that balance sheet?

So, when the various M reports are issued and they contain discrepancies that conceal a huge amount of actual monetary transactions are they reliable to determine whether there is a contraction in the money supply or not?

Being such an important factor in the measurement of the actual money supply and yet half of all transaction deposits are not appearing in these reports, there are those who, as we have seen here on the DP, are depending on those reports to state that DEFLATION is emanate, when reality shows just the opposite.

When we look at the trends within the money stock you see some odd practices, which have taken place over the last five years. One of those interesting trends is that immediately prior to the Panic of 2008 the FED expanded the money supply by $1 Trillion, but this was done under the practice of concealment using sweeps and other trickeries, yet few have seemed to notice, certainly not those who are crying deflation. By using a reclassification process the FED can effectively conceal massive monetary inflation and that is exactly what they have been doing over the last few years. Why would the FED and our government want to conceal a massive expansion of the money supply of this country, there is a two-fold reason one is the possible expectation of massive inflation by the markets and the other is to protect the credit rating of the U.S. Once the creditors of this country realize that the value of the currency is being depreciated to such a degree then the value of U.S. Treasuries will plummet, as well as the demand for those debt instruments. So, the shell game continues to manipulate the reports that so many seem to depend upon.

As part of the fraud, the process by which banks are now allowed to reclassify demand deposits as time deposits appears to reduce the actual amount of money being created. There is a very good reason why demand deposits have been counted as money and time deposits have not in terms of the money supply. Now while both types are deposits, both do not effect the reporting of the money supply in the same way. Time deposits are completely different than demand deposits in terms of immediate economic activities of exchange since time deposits are not readily available for such exchange.

So, what is happening is that while a depositor has been told he has a demand deposit, the FED is reporting that over half of those demand deposits are time deposits because it allows the banks to reclassify those demand deposits as time deposits. In fact, the FED clearly declares regarding the practice “within certain legal bounds, such behavior [deposit sweeps] are acceptable to the Federal Reserve Bank.” In other words, it is a practice of concealment that the FED allows because it benefits the FED and the U.S. government. An interesting fact about this concealment is that the FED also states “bank customers are not aware that such reclassification is occurring.”

So, if you look at the Federal Reserve release of H-6 on June 1, 2009, the reported amount of demand deposits and other checkable deposits is $740 Billion, but that actually represents only half of the actual demand and checkable deposits since the Federal Reserve allows sweeping by the banks to lower their reserve requirements and thus conceal the true figure of $1480 Billion. Thus when we add the true figure back into the total money supply we have a grand total of $2.34 Trillion dollars as the actual money supply, not the $1.6 Trillion as reported. Now if you look at the increase from May of 2008 to May of 2009 then you will notice that there has been a 70% inflation of the money supply. Prior to this point the largest one-year increase in the money supply was back in 1986 when it increased 16.9% at which point the CPI rose around 13.3%.

Add onto all of this the massive budget deficit this government is mounting-up. The official estimate is $1.8 Trillion, but as we know, this government, along with its central bank, is experts at concealment. Since there is no way for this government to continue to borrow and monetize its debt, the only other resort it can turn to is the pure creation of fiat money. That will effectively repudiate its debt by inflationary depreciation. We constantly hear from the politicians about the debt of this country and the burden we are placing on our children and grandchildren, that is not true. Long before our children and grandchildren reach maturity this fiat monetary system will suffer a complete collapse and there is nothing that the government can do to stop it under its current practices.

By the end of this year I can almost guarantee that there will be another massive expansion of the money supply because the government has no other way to support itself now other than the “magic money machine”, of course, look for it to be concealed in one way or another. In part of this concealment, the FED and the Treasury will take turns lending money to each other, shifting the shells around and around, as not to raise suspicion that the total monetary supply will increase 4 or 5-fold.

Now, while “DEFLATION” has been the buzzword, especially from government pundits and many in the official circles of government economists, as well as others, it is nothing more than a means of concealing the actual inflationary monetary monstrosity that is taking place. It has been and is, an attempt to persuade people to hold the U.S. Fiat Dollar, and to, as we have seen, to produce a flight to safety into Treasuries instead of hard assets. The propaganda is that there is safety in the U.S. Monetary System, that the full faith of the federal government is as strong as ever and the place to put your confidence…it is a ruse and there are going to be a multitude of victims who believe the ruse. Believe them if you like, put your faith in the U.S. Dollar, particularly if you actually believe that we are heading for a massive deflationary event, if that is the case then the U.S. Dollar is definitely the place you should put all your asset value. By all means, if you actually believe that a deflationary event is on the horizon, then sell your gold and silver, sell your land, sell any hard asset you have and immediately shift those assets into the U.S. Dollar. In a few years let me know how it works out for you.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

Since so much is concealed there is one other possibility.

The FED could be printing and loaning physical and electronic dollars to the emerging countries in an attempt to extend the dollar as the world's default currency. Pumping dollars into the world economy of 6 Billion people, doens't have the same inflationary effect as inflating the money supply in the US economy, which only has 350 million people.

If there is a currency competition going on between the Western powers vs. China and Russia, then by printing and loaning vast sums of money, the US is in essence wooing the emerging governments to "go western". Having the world's greatest military with 700 bases around the world, also helps to "encourage" the new kids to "see the light".

If all else fails, the local ambassador can always whisper - "Remember what happened to Saddam"!

Ralph that is hypothetical.

Ralph that is hypothetical. Russia doesn't want dollars.
China doesn't want dollars. The only ones receiving the dollars are the euro countries because of the massive debt they have. What is funny is the Us is in worse shape then the euro zone by FAR. China, Russia, India etc etc are exchanging US dollars for Gold. at some point those dollars come home.. I have seen people say that having the worlds greatest military with 700 bases around the world makes them shake intheir boots... that is laughable. Yes we do have a greatest Military but we can't even win a war in 3rd world countries. The problem you are going to run into is I don't care how good your military is .. when the nation goes broke because of its military run empire around the world, the military was.... not is. China has been easing up on buying our debt, Japan the same. yes recently they purchased some but that is just to keep the balling rolling enought so they can exchange dollars for Gold and any other commodity they need. Everyone laughs at Greece.. Hell look at California, they are 8 times worse then Greece alone.. That is not counting Illinois, New York, etc etc etc.. All I have to say is this.. You want to see where the USA is headed.. Look at Rome.

You're missing the main point!

I didn't say that Russia and China wanted dollars. The competition is to see which way the emerging markets are going to turn and who will get to be the dominant world banker. Thus the west is in a currency war with the east to see how many of the emerging markets can be suaded or coereced!

If the FED has greatly increased the money supply and we don't see inflation here in the US, then it's logical to assume the dollars are going overseas! You claim you know who is receiveing the money but in fact there is no way to know where it's going!

has nothing to do with being

has nothing to do with being the predominant world banker.. there alrteady is a predominant world banker. all they are doing is destroying all paper currencies so they can have one currency/debit card issued by one bank, from 1 world government.

You are underestimating the emerging markets and how much

it would be worth to be the central bankers for those emerging markets.

Approximately two-thirds of the world's 6 Billion people still live in a state of relative poverty. As they become more modernized, their total GDP will drawf the US GDP.

The competition has every thing to do with who is going to be the central banker for this mass of humanity! And the current Euro centric bankers are using the American taxpayer, Federal Reserve and military to try to capture that market!

Recovering? How is an economy


How is an economy going to recover that is based on non-redeemable paper currency, with a Congress that spends like drunken sailors?

The "stimulus checks" are as phony as Gerry Fords WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons of a few decades ago. There is no wealth created by the "stimulus checks". It is just one more crime perpetrated by our Criminal Class - our politicians.

We will never have a stable economy until we return to honest money. That means an end to the Federal Reserve and stealing through inflation. It means a federal government that abides by the Constitution, and stops trying to bribe voters. It means getting government out of the way so that Market Forces can bring about prosperity for all.

But our politicians and their bankers friends will fight this tooth and nail. It means an end to the stealing. And they don't want the stealing to end.

I am

so glad that I was not fooled by those who predicted hyper-inflation!

government of the people, by the people, for the people

The critical factor to keep in mind:

Increasing the money supply in a close-loop system with 350 million people is not the same a increasing the money supply in the global system of 6 Billion people. In other words, printing more money to become the world's currency and getting other countries to use the dollar, is a much larger scale, than simply increasing the US's money supply.

Think of it like sugar. Adding three tablespoons of sugar to a cup of coffee would be undrinkable. However, if you add three tablespoons to a gallon of coffee, it may be just right. Consider this proportionality and it becomes clear why the dollar continues to hold it's value.

The elites currently have control of the dollar, why would they want to destroy it. They are simply extending it to the world which in essence, extends their power and influence. Plus, when you have the global military presence to intimdate, it makes it a lot easier to pull it off.

Republicae's picture

I'm glad you were not

I'm glad you were not "fooled" GREED, but it is still not a case of fooling someone or not, it is a matter of looking at the numbers and the numbers show a truly massive inflation of the money supply...the effective money at zero maturity supply. The thing is that there is much more to hyper-inflation than just inflation, there is a psychological factor that contributes to it, it is a trigger, a confidence trigger....keep watching and make sure you store up on those fiat dollars they will be very, very valuable when deflation hits.

But, I'm glad that you haven't been fooled, it makes me feel so much more confident in your beliefs, I assure you.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

I am so glad he came back....

I am so glad he came back....

Republicae's picture

This article just hit on Lew

This article just hit on Lew Rockwell this morning and it confirms what I stated yesterday about the article written by Ambrose, including the usage of the M3 [which no longer exists as a report from the FED] as an indicator of the money supply.


* see my comments below.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun