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any amount, the decline in the value of silver as compared to gold in the last year would have the effect to displace gold with silver. In Russia and Austria silver is the only standard, and the only legal metallic money of account, and under any circumstances, whether specie payments were suspended or not, silver would be the only coin in circulation to any considerable extent, except the token coinage. The operation of all these causes (and particularly the change in the relative values of gold and silver in the last year) has been to drive the gold out of other countries of Europe and concentrate it in Great Britain, France and Germany. In Germany this influx of gold has gone largely into general circulation in place of silver, which was demonetized under the new monetary system of the empire. In France the monetary circulation being already very large, it was not wanted in popular use and it went into the Bank of France. In Great Britain it went partly into circulation, but also accumulated to a considerable extent in the Bank of England.* The increase of specie in these banks has, I think, led to exaggerated estimates of the increase of gold and silver in use in Europe as money. Still another cause of exaggeration has been that those who undertook to estimate the amount of gold in the world could think of no other place for it.
Chevalier estimated the total of gold, in its various forms of coin bullion and personal ornaments, in the world, in 1848, at about $2,830,000,000, and various other accepted authorities estimated the amount of gold coin and bullion in Europe, in 1847, at about $1,250,000,000. Ruggles estimated the stock of gold coin alone in the commercial world, in 1867, at $2,600,000,000, and Ernest Seyd estimated it at the same amount in 1872. In May, 1876, also, before a select committee of parliament, Mr. Seyd estimated the total stock of gold in circulation in the current year at the enormous figure of $3,750,000,000, of which he apportioned $1,300,000,000 to France, $650,000,000 to Great Britain and 150,000,000 to the United States. Mr. Seyd's estimate of the gold in the United States is based on the estimate of the director of the United States Mint for June 30, 1875, which was $167,000,000 for the total amount of gold and silver coin and bullion in the United States at that date; but even in this estimate the director of the Mint stated that no deduction had been made for the amount of gold consumed in the arts for two years. This estimate also allowed $10,000,000 of actual gold coin and bullion as being held by the national banks, which is unquestionably too large an estimate. It is therefore apparent that Mr. Seyd's estimate of $150,000,000 of gold in the United States is about $50,000,000 too large, and I think his allowances to Great Britain and France are overestimates in about the same ratio. Seyd estimated the stock of gold coin alone in the commercial world, in 1872, at $2,600,000,000, and before 1848 at $2,000,000,000. Ruggles estimated the world's stock of gold coin in 1867, at $2,600,000. These estimates seem to be the merest conjectures, without any thorough investigation, and the method by which Mr. Seyd and others have arrived at their present estimates of the amount of gold in circulation is to add 75 per cent of the presumed production of gold in the world since the dates mentioned. Chevalier estimated the total of gold in its various forms of coin, bullion and personal ornaments, in the world, in 1848, at about $2,830,000,000, and various other accepted authorities estimated the amount of gold coin and bullion in Europe, in 1847, at about $1,250,000,000.
* The effect of the movement of specie from all other parts of Europe to Germany, France and Great Britain, has, I think, contributed more than any. thing else to increase the specie reserve of the national banks of these three countries. This increase of specie in the banks of England, France and Germany, which has been ascribed to the increased production of gold and silver, has been greatest since the production of gold has diminished, as will be seen by the following table of the amounts of specie in each of the three great banks at different periods in the eighteen months to July, 1876, (the amounts are given in their equivalents in United States money).
$105, 120, 125
Dec. 26, 1874
406,862,000 409,660,000 412,363,000 415,210,000
All these estimates are, however, open to the criticism that, first, they were made without any investigation of the financial condition of different countries of the world, or even of Europe; second, that they were not made upon the basis of any rule of wealth in each of the countries; that each later estimate has been made upon
the presumption that the earlier ones were correct and that the only thing to be done was to add the 75 per cent of the estimated product of the mines. It is by this method of conjecture piled upon conjecture that men have contrived to arrive at the estimate of $3,750,000,000 of gold in use as money in the world at the present time. But it is in vain that they attempt to apportion it out to the respective countries,— the sum is too large to admit of apportionment.
If in the inquiry as to where this presumed immense sum of gold used as money is distributed we turn to our own part of the world, we find on the continent of North America a total population of about 56,000,000 in 1875. Of this total there was in the United States say 42,000,000, in Canada 4,000,000 and in Mexico 9,000,000. We know that the total of gold coin and gold bullion in the United States at the close of that year did not much exceed $100,000,000.
The population of Canada, in 1875, was estimated at a little over 4,000,000. The total revenue raised in 1874 was $24, 205,000, or at the rate of $6.05 per capita. Assuming this to be in accordance with the rules applied to other countries, viz., 333 per cent of the money in circulation and in banks, it would give an aggregate of $72,600,000 of all kinds of money, or at the rate of $18.15 per capita. The circulation of the Canadian banks on December 31, 1875, was $25,412,321, leaving
a presumed aggregate of $47,200,000 in all sorts of coin.
There is a mint in each of the eight States of Mexico, and the aggregate coinage of these in the fiscal year 1872–3 was $20,374,554, of which $19,686,434 was silver coins, leaving only $668,120 of gold. The total coinage of 1869-70 was $20,677,021, with the same ratio of gold and silver, and in that year the total export of coin from Mexico was $17,479,014. Comparing these facts with similar ones for the various States of Europe, we should not expect to find in the whole of Mexico an aggregate of more than $40,000,000 of all kinds of coin, of which at least $35,000,000 would be silver.
According to the latest statistics the total population of South America and the West Indies aggregates about 29,000,000, of which 10,000,000 are in Brazil, 4,000,000 in the West Indies, and nearly 5,000,000 in Peru.
Of the 10,000,000 population of Brazil nearly or about one third are either savage nomadic tribes or persons recently manumitted from slavery under the act for gradual emancipation passed in 1871, and the proportion of the population using any kind of money to any considerable extent is not above 7,000,000 or 8,000,000. But the fact in connection with Brazil most pertinent to our present inquiry is that coin of any kind has for many years been almost entirely banished by the use of inconvertible paper money. Shortly after the first great increase of paper money in 1856–7 the entire monetary circulation of the empire was made the subject of careful investigation, the result of which was the following statement of all kinds of money in circulation in the empire at the close of 1857, viz.: