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By Lawrence White (ed.)
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The rise of rents from a depreciated currency was not all gain to the landlord, for the purchasing power of his rents was reduced in value from the rise in price of all the articles of consumption. When rents, on the other hand, fall to their bullion value, the loss to the landlord is more nominal than real. General prices are lower, and his diminished amount of rent can command a greater amount of the necessaries of life. I have thought it necessary to state thus much of the principles of currency, before noticing what regulations it may be advisable to introduce with regard to the circulation of the country banks.
The Treasury and Exchequer bankers, according to the balance of cash on hand, could apply it to the purchal'e of Exchequer bills, and so diminish the charge of interest to the Exchequer. The profit which the Bank now makes on these balances would be transferred to the public, and would do more than pay the expences of the banking establishment. The result would be the same as if the Treasury kept the accounts of all its servants, and made a profitable use of the balance in hand. As it has been proved, and I hope satisfactorily, that our paper currency is in an undue proportion to its metallic basis, I would propose that the Bank of England should not issue notes below the value of 20l.
To obviate this difficulty," Dr. m would endeavour to obtain possession of some (additional) commodity, which he kne,v would be received by others at all times and places ;". this commodity is money. The language used by Dr. Smith might almost make us suppose that he regarded the invention of money as a chance occurrence; or, at least, that he had not formed any accurate idea of those specific circumstances which give rise to the employment of some one commodity as money, whenever the division of labour is introduced.