Money is the most liquid of all assets in the sense that it is universally acceptable and hence can be exchanged for other commodities very easily. On the other hand, it has an opportunity cost. If, instead of holding on to a certain cash balance, you put the money in a savings account in some bank you can earn interest on that money. While deciding on how much money to hold at a certain point of time one has to consider the trade off between the advantage of liquidity and the disadvantage of the foregone interest. Demand for money balance is thus often referred to as liquidity preference. People desire to hold money balance broadly from two motives.
The Transaction Motive:

The principal motive for holding money is to carry out transactions. If you receive your income weekly and pay your bills on the first day of every week, you need not hold any cash balance throughout the rest of the week; you may as well ask your employer to deduct your expenses directly from your weekly salary and deposit the balance in your bank account. But our expenditure patterns do not normally match our receipts. People earn incomes at discrete points in time and spend it continuously throughout the interval. Suppose you earn Rs 100 on the first day of every month and run down this balance evenly over the rest of the month. Thus your cash balance at the beginning and end of the month are Rs 100 and 0, respectively. Your average cash holding can then be calculated as (Rs 100 + Rs 0) ÷ 2 = Rs 50, with which you are making transactions worth Rs 100 per month. Hence your average transaction demand for money is equal to half your monthly income, or, in other words, half the value of your monthly transactions.

Consider, next, a two-person economy consisting of two entities – a firm (owned by one person) and a worker. The firm pays the worker a salary of Rs 100 at the beginning of every month. The worker, in turn, spends this income over the month on the output produced by the firm – the only good available in this economy! Thus, at the beginning of each month the worker has a money balance of Rs 100 and the firm a balance of Rs 0. On the last day of the month the picture is reversed – the firm has gathered a balance of Rs 100 through its sales to the worker. The average money holding of the firm as well as the worker is equal to Rs 50 each. Thus the total transaction demand for money in this economy is equal to Rs 100. The total volume of monthly transactions in this economy is Rs 200 – the firm has sold its output worth Rs 100 to the worker and the latter has sold her services worth Rs 100 to the firm. The transaction demand for money of the economy is again a fraction of the total volume of transactions in the economy over the unit period of time.

The two-person economy described above can be looked at from another angle. You may perhaps find it surprising that the economy uses money balance worth only Rs 100 for making transactions worth Rs 200 per month. The answer to this riddle is simple – each rupee is changing hands twice a month. On the first day, it is being transferred from the employer’s pocket to that of the worker and sometime during the month, it is passing from the worker’s hand to the employer’s. The number of times a unit of money changes hands during the unit period is called the velocity of circulation of money. In the above example it is 2, inverse of half – the ratio of money balance and the value of transactions.

We are ultimately interested in learning the relationship between the aggregate transaction demand for money of an economy and the (nominal) GDP in a given year. The total value of annual transactions in an economy includes transactions in all intermediate goods and services and is clearly much greater than the nominal GDP. However, normally, there exists a stable, positive relationship between value of transactions and the nominal GDP. An increase in nominal GDP implies an increase in the total value of transactions and hence a greater transaction demand for money.

The Speculative Motive:

An individual may hold her wealth in the form of landed property, bullion, bonds, money etc. For simplicity, let us club all forms of assets other than money together into a single category called ‘bonds’. Typically, bonds are papers bearing the promise of a future stream of monetary returns over a certain period of time. These papers are issued by governments or firms for borrowing money from the public and they are tradable in the market. Consider the following two-period bond. A firm wishes to raise a loan of Rs 100 from the public. It issues a bond that assures Rs 10 at the end of the first year and Rs 10 plus the principal of Rs 100 at the end of the second year. Such a bond is said to have a face value of Rs 100, a maturity period of two years and a coupon rate of 10 per cent. Assume that the rate of interest prevailing in your savings bank account is equal to 5 per cent. Naturally you would like to compare the earning from this bond with the interest earning of your savings bank account. The exact question that you would ask is as follows: How much money, if kept in my savings bank account, will generate Rs 10 at the end of one year? Let this amount be X. This amount, Rs X, is called the present value of Rs 10 discounted at the market rate of interest. Similarly, let Y be the amount of money which if kept in the savings bank account will generate Rs 110 at the end of two years. Calculation reveals that it is Rs 109.29 (approx.). It means that if you put Rs 109.29 in your savings bank account it will fetch the same return as the bond. But the seller of the bond is offering the same at a face value of only Rs 100. Clearly the bond is more attractive than the savings bank account and people will rush to get hold of the bond. Competitive bidding will raise the price of the bond above its face value, till price of the bond is equal to its PV. If price rises above the PV the bond becomes less attractive compared to the savings bank account and people would like to get rid of it. The bond will be in excess supply and there will be downward pressure on the bond-price which will bring it back to the PV. It is clear that under competitive assets market condition the
price of a bond must always be equal to its present value in equilibrium. Now consider an increase in the market rate of interest from 5 per cent to 6 per cent. The present value, and hence the price of the same bond, will become 107.33 (approx.)

It follows that the price of a bond is inversely related to the market rate of interest. Different people have different expectations regarding the future movements in the market rate of interest based on their private information regarding the economy. If you think that the market rate of interest should eventually settle down to 8 per cent per annum, then you may consider the current rate of 5 per cent too low to be sustainable over time. You expect interest rate to rise and consequently bond prices to fall. If you are a bond holder a decrease in bond price means a loss to you – similar to a loss you would suffer if the value of a property held by you suddenly depreciates in the market. Such a loss occurring from a falling bond price is called a capital loss to the bond holder. Under such circumstances, you will try to sell your bond and hold money instead. Thus speculations regarding future movements in interest rate and bond prices give rise to the speculative demand for money. When the interest rate is very high everyone expects it to fall in future and hence anticipates capital gains from bond-holding. Hence people convert their money into bonds. Thus, speculative demand for money is low. When interest rate comes down, more and more people expect it to rise in the future and anticipate capital loss. Thus they convert their bonds into money giving rise to a high speculative demand for money. Hence speculative demand for money is inversely related to the rate of interest.

As mentioned earlier, interest rate can be thought of as an opportunity cost or ‘price’ of holding money balance. If supply of money in the economy increases and people purchase bonds with this extra money, demand for bonds will go up, bond prices will rise and rate of interest will decline. In other words, with an increased supply of money in the economy the price you have to pay for holding money balance, viz. the rate of interest, should come down. However, if the market rate of interest is already low enough so that everybody expects it to rise in future, causing capital losses, nobody will wish to hold bonds. Everyone in the economy will hold their wealth in money balance and if additional money is injected within the economy it will be used up to satiate people’s craving for money balances without increasing the demand for bonds and without further lowering the rate of interest below the floor rmin. Such a situation is called a liquidity trap. The speculative money demand function is infinitely elastic here.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
toolbar powered by Conduit