terça-feira, novembro 20, 2012

fractional reserve parking lot

Hayek, Business Cycles and Fractional Reserve Banking: Continuing the De-Homogenization Process (PDF):
An objection that has been used against this perspective cites the "fractional reserve parking lot." Here, an entrepreneur sells not the right to a parking space, as occurs in the ordinary situ- ation, but only the right to a parking space subject to the condi- tion that there is room in the lot for an additional automobile. The firm, then, is selling not a parking space, but in effect a lottery ticket for a parking space, where the probability of a "win" is the number of actual spaces on the premises divided by the number of such "rights" sold to the public. For example, if there are 100 parking stalls available, and the garage has sold 400 tickets, then, ceteris paribus, the buyer has a 25-percent chance of being accommodated when he wishes to avail himself of this service.

Now this sort of commercial arrangement, if it is conducted in an open and honest manner, is not fraudulent. It should therefore be legal. However, there is a disanalogy between this scheme and the fractional reserve system for money as currently practiced. At present, money placed in a bank is called a "demand" deposit, logically implying that it would be available, in full, whenever demanded, with a probability of certainty. If the "fractional reserve parking lot" were to be an accurate analogy to monetary practice, instead of being called a "demand" deposit, it should be called "purchasing a lottery ticket for money," or some such. Further, in every other way-publicity, explicit contracts, etc.-banking procedures would have to be brought into line with parking lot practice. Then, and only then, could the charge of fraud be dropped. Under such conditions, there would still be the empirical question of whether or not anyone would purchase a "lottery ticket money deposit."

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