Effects of the War on Money, Credit and Banking in France by Benjamin McAlester Anderson

By Benjamin McAlester Anderson

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There are altogether some 2,700 or more of local and provincial banks, many of them insignificant in size. In 1905, 325 of them formed a protective union, the Societe Centrale des Banques de Province, which also carries on in Paris a banking business, chiefly concerned with the huge security operations which are concentrated there. 1 One great institution, the Credit Foncier, with branches throughout France, does most of the mortgage loan business in the cities. It was anticipated, at the time of its organization, that it would supply agricultural credit largely, but this it has done to a very slight extent.

What is very important in our way of floating a loan is that the sales are made in small quantities; the transaction is completed in a very few days, and each of our customers buys only the number of bonds corresponding to his investment requirement. Q. As a matter of fact, anything you recommend they will buy? A. Yes, and even with a very large issue; the bonds do not remain long in the market, because in our country savings are very extended. Everyone saves his money. The small savings of France are the wealth of the country.

Fisher places the "velocity of money" for the United States at from nineteen to twenty-two times a year. Kemmerer's estimate is about twice as high. Fisher appears to me to have made the better estimate, though the whole problem is a baffling one. 32 EFFECTS OF THE WAR ON MONEY, CREDIT AND BANKING ment, draws a bill on the retailer, either" at sight" or on thirty, sixty or ninety days' time, and this bill, "accepted" by the retailer, becomes the latter's promise to pay. It may then be used by the wholesaler in making payments to some one else-a practice probably more common in Germany than in France, and much more common with "bank acceptances" (to be described in a moment) than with" trade acceptances" (the transaction just described).

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