The other function is that the money market is the primary avenue by which treasuries draw deposits. Although $2.8 trillion in tax-exempt securities are held by a wide variety of investors throughout the world, very few of those portfolios are irrevocably committed to the Treasury. What really matters is whether that investor is willing to accept the risk of holding Treasury securities. The desire to park money in U.S. securities is so compelling that many holders of securities sell foreign securities to purchase U.S. Government debt. Therefore, for purposes of market liquidity, the money market is often the main source of funding for U.S. Treasury securities.
Much of the economic activity of the world is shaped by the quantity and quality of money. Economist and former Fed chair Ben Bernanke once remarked well, "The money supply is the single most important independent variable in the business cycle." Yet the amount of money in existence measures, at most, only about one-fifth of the total supply. The rest of the money supply is in no permanent place. It exists not for expenditure purposes, but rather strictly in a bookkeeping sense. And most of it, like the funds that exist in checking and savings accounts, changes hands slowly and is determined in a myriad ways fairly independent of the people who use it.
One of the unique features of the modern financial system is that money (rights to payment) has no particular manifestation in the real world—it is money in a cryptogram. The value of a bill is as real as that of its paper. The currency is no more lebensraum than a dollar bill, whether it is in a dollar bill form or is as quaint a one-hundred-year-old Liberty Head copper coin.
For that reason, when people in the United States hear someone explain that a dollar bill does not exist, they tend to wag their heads in disbelief. The aura of reality is very different with paper and coins. They lack an independent existence, and yet people treat them as if they are. d2c66b5586