The War Credit Structure
THE Credit Structure tables to which the attention of the reader is now called are based upon the published returns of the Government and of the banks made nearest to the end of the calendar years 1913 to 1919 inclusive. The purpose is to compare the total liabilities of the nation on account of the debt with the assets of the banks and to compare the currency and the bank deposits with the gold coin and bullion impounded in the coffers of the joint-stock banks and of the Bank of England. The statistical data used are taken from the weekly reports of the Bank of England, from the Cunliffe Committee's reports, from a paper on the Statistical Aspects of Inflation, by Professor J. Shield Nicholson, read before the Royal Statistical Society in June, 1917, from the Banker's Magazine ( London) and from the columns of The Economist and of The Statist.
Table I compares the year to year changes in the national debt with the corresponding changes in bank assets. It is somewhat of a surprise that the Bank of England's holdings of Government securities do not more fully reflect the changes in the Ways and Means advances. However, taking the entire debt fluctuations into consideration it is apparent that the assets of the banks have fluctuated with the changes in the debt, and that bank assets have grown as the national debt has grown. It is not possible to make close comparisons because call loans are reported together with cash in hand and