8 Keith Gessen Quotes on All the Sad Young Literary Men, Writing and Agents - Quotes.pub

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HFM: Well, what does it mean to have an enormous mound of cash sitting around? I mean, is it like in the executive suite, it’s like the pool that Scrooge McDuck has, with gold coins, and he swims around in that, and when money is needed he takes gold coins out of the pool and uses them to pay for things? I mean, what is a pile of money? A pile of money is, for example, a deposit at a bank. Okay, well, what is a deposit at a bank? The bank’s supposed to lend that out to somebody. So a cash balance is…one company’s cash balance eventually works its way to be credit, it’s credit to somebody else. The point is that, you say a company or a person has cash sitting around, what does that mean? It means that they have consuming power, that they’ve moved consuming power intertemporally. It means that they’ve produced more than they’ve consumed in the past, so they have a right to consume more than they’re producing at some point in the future. So that just means that some party has a claim on another party. It can’t be that all of us as an economy, that we all have lots of claims on future consumption and none of us have any debt. Otherwise you would have an economy that’s entirely demonetized, it would be entirely equity, you know, we would just have claims on capital goods or on ownership of companies. You know, if you want to have money that’s not just dead pieces of paper that will be worth nothing if everybody tries to spend it at once—really my money, through an extended chain of financial relationships, is somebody else’s debt, it’s a credit to somebody else.