Archive for the ‘Economics:经济’ Category


April 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Seigniorage 铸币税


Seigniorage (also spelled seignorage or seigneurage) can have the following two meanings:

铸币税-Seigniorage (也唸成seignorageseigneurage),可以有以下两种含义:

Seigniorage derived from specie—metal coins, is a tax, added to the total price of a coin (metal content and production costs), that a customer of the mint had to pay to the mint, and that was sent to the sovereign of the political area.


Seigniorage derived from notes is more indirect, being the difference between interest earned on securities acquired in exchange for bank notes and the costs of producing and distributing those notes.


Seigniorage is a convenient source of revenue for some governments.



Contents 目录

1 Examples  例子

1.1 Scenario A  案例A

1.2 Scenario B  案例B

2 Ordinary seigniorage  普通铸币税

2.1 Solvency constraints of central banks  央行的偿付能力局限

2.2 Seigniorage as a tax  铸币税的税收

3 Seigniorage today  现今的铸币税

3.1 2011 U.S. debt ceiling crisis  2011年美国债务上限的危机

4 Overseas circulation  海外流通

5 See also  另见

6 References  参考文献

7 External links  外部链接


Examples  例子

Scenario A  案例A

A person has one ounce of gold, trades it for a government-issued gold certificate (providing for redemption in one ounce of gold), keeps that certificate for a year, and then redeems it in gold. That person ends up with exactly one ounce of gold again. No seigniorage occurs.


Scenario B  案例B

Instead of issuing gold certificates, a government converts gold into currency at the market rate by printing paper notes. A person exchanges one ounce of gold for its value in currency. They keep the currency for one year, and then exchange it all for an amount of gold at the new market value. This second exchange may yield more or less than one ounce of gold if the value of the currency relative to gold has changed during the interim. (Assume that the value or direct purchasing power of one ounce of gold remains constant through the year.)


If the value of the currency relative to gold has decreased, then the person receives less than one ounce of gold. Seigniorage occurred.


If the value of the currency relative to gold has increased, the redeemer receives more than one ounce of gold. Seigniorage did not occur.


Seigniorage, therefore, is the positive return on issuing notes and coins, or “carry” on money in circulation.


The opposite, “cost of carry”, is not regarded as a form of seigniorage.



Ordinary seigniorage  普通铸币税

Ordinarily seigniorage is only an interest-free loan (for instance of gold) to the issuer of the coin or paper money. When the currency is worn out, the issuer buys it back at face value, thereby balancing exactly the revenue received when it was put into circulation, without any additional amount for the interest value of what the issuer received.


Historically, seigniorage was the profit resulting from producing coins. Silver and gold were mixed with base metals to make durable coins. Thus the British “sterling” was 92.5% pure silver; the base metal added (and thus the pure silver retained by the government mint) was (less costs) the profit, the seigniorage. USA gold coins were made from 90% gold, 7% silver, and 3% copper; one can easily see the seigniorage.


Currently, under the rules governing monetary operations of major central banks (including the central bank of the USA), seigniorage on bank notes is simply defined as the interest payments received by central banks on the total amount of currency issued. This usually takes the form of interest payments on treasury bonds purchased by central banks, putting more dollars into circulation. However, if the currency is collected, or is otherwise taken permanently out of circulation, the back end of the deal never occurs (that is, the currency is never returned to the central bank). Thus the issuer of the currency keeps the whole seigniorage profit, by not having to buy worn out issued currency back at face value.



Solvency constraints of central banks  央行的偿付能力局限

The solvency constraint of the standard central bank only requires that the present discounted value of its net non-monetary liabilities (separate from its monetary liabilities accrued through seigniorage attempts) be zero or negative in the long run. Its monetary liabilities are liabilities only in name, as they are irredeemable: the holder of base money cannot insist at any time on the redemption of a given amount of base money into anything else other than the same amount of itself (base money) — unless, of course, the holder of said base money is another central bank reclaiming the value of its original interest-free loan.



Seigniorage as a tax  铸币税的税收

Some economists regarded seigniorage as a form of inflation tax, redistributing real resources to the currency issuer. Issuing new currency, rather than collecting taxes paid out of the existing money stock, is then considered in effect a tax that falls on those who hold the existing currency. The expansion of the money supply may cause inflation in the long run.


This is one reason offered in support of free banking, a gold standard, or at a minimum the reduction of political control over central banks. The latter could then take as their primary objective ensuring a stable value of currency by controlling monetary expansion and thus limiting inflation. Independence from government is required to reach this aim – indeed, it is well known in economic literature that governments face a conflict of interest in this regard[citation needed]. In fact, “hard money” advocates argue that central banks have utterly failed to obtain the objective of a stable currency. Under the gold standard, for example, the price level in both England and the US remained relatively stable over literally hundreds of years, though with some protracted periods of deflation. Since the US Federal Reserve was formed in 1913, however, the US dollar has fallen to barely a twentieth of its former value through the consistently inflationary policies of the bank. Economists counter that deflation is hard to control once it sets in and its effects are much more damaging than modest, consistent inflation.


Banks or governments relying heavily on seigniorage and fractional reserve sources of revenue can find it counterproductive. Rational expectations of inflation take into account a bank’s seigniorage strategy, and inflationary expectations can maintain high inflation . Instead of accruing seigniorage from fiat money and credit most governments opt to raise revenue primarily through taxation and other means.



Seigniorage today  现今的铸币税

The “50 State” series of quarters (25-cent coins) was launched in the U.S. in 1999. The U.S. government planned on a large number of people collecting each new quarter as it rolled out of the U.S. Mint, thus taking the pieces out of circulation[citation needed]. Each set of quarters is worth $14.00 (a complete set includes quarters for all fifty states, the five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia). Since it costs the Mint about five cents for each 25-cent piece it produces, the government made a profit whenever someone “bought” a coin and chose not to spend it. The U.S. Treasury estimates that it has earned about US$6.3 billion in seigniorage from the quarters over the course of the entire program.


In some cases, national mints report the amount of seigniorage provided to their respective governments; for example, the Royal Canadian Mint reported that in 2006 it generated $C93 million in seigniorage for the Government of Canada. The US government, the largest beneficiary of seignorage, earned approximately $25 billion annually as of 2000.

在某些情况下,国家铸币厂向各个政府报告提供的铸币税金额; 例如,加拿大皇家铸币厂在2006年向加拿大政府报告赚取了九千三百万加拿大币。美国政府这个铸币税的最大受益者每年赚取了大约250亿美元,截至2000年为止。

According to some reports, currently over half the revenue of the government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe is in seigniorage. Zimbabwe has experienced hyperinflation (see Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe), with the annualized rate at about 24,000% in July 2008 (prices doubling every 46 days).



2011 U.S. debt ceiling crisis   2011年美国债务上限的危机

On 3 January 2011, a blogger suggested seigniorage as a solution to the 2011 U.S. debt ceiling crisis. This was covered on Slate online, on 29 July 2011 when it was suggested that a US$5 trillion coin could be minted and deposited with the Federal Reserve and used to buy back debt thus making funds available.



Overseas circulation  海外流通

A very profitable type of seignorage is from the international circulation of banknotes. While the cost of printing banknotes is minimal, the foreign entity must provide goods and services at the face value of the note to obtain it. The banknote is retained because the entity values it as a store of value because of mistrust of the local currency.


Overseas circulation is intimately tied in with large value banknotes. One purpose of using foreign currency is for store of value, but another is efficiency of private transactions many of which are illegal.


American currency has been circulating globally for most of the 20th century. Certainly in WWII, the amount of currency in circulation was increased several fold. However, the modern era of huge printings of the United States one hundred-dollar bill started with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Production was quadrupled with the first ever trillion dollar printing of this bill. As of the end of 2008, U.S. currency in circulation with the public amounted to $824 billion and 76% of the currency supply was in the form of $100 denomination banknotes, amounting to twenty $100 bills per U.S. citizen. Over the past decade there has been considerable controversy concerning the amount of U.S. currency circulating abroad. Porter and Judson have claimed that in the mid nineties between 53-67 percent of U.S. currency was overseas, whereas Feige’s estimates suggested a figure closer to 40 percent abroad. Most recently, Goldberg writing in a New York Federal Reserve publication asserted that “about 65 percent ($580 billion) of all banknotes are in circulation outside of the country. However, these assertions are contradicted by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Flow of Funds statistics which show that at the end of March 2009, only $313 billion (36.7 percent) of U.S. currency was held abroad. Feige calculates that since 1964, “the cumulative seigniorage earnings accruing to the U.S. by virtue of the currency held by foreigners amounted to $167-$185 billion and over the past two decades seigniorage revenues from foreigners have averaged $6-$7 billion dollars per year”.


The American $100 bill has some competition, primarily from the €500 note. The larger value of the banknote makes it easier to transport larger amounts of money. As an example, to carry $1 million in currency on board an airplane, and it is in $100 bills, the weight of the money is 22 pounds. It is difficult to carry this much without a briefcase and some physical security. Since it is against authority of Title 26 of the United States Code (U.S.Tax Code) regulations to carry more than $10,000 without reporting it (31 USC 5311), it is unlikely to pass security unnoticed. The same amount in €500 notes would weigh less than three pounds, and it could probably be dispersed in clothing and in luggage without attracting attention or alerting a security device. For many illegal operations the problem of transporting currency is more difficult than transporting cocaine because of the size and weight of the currency. The ease of transporting banknotes makes the euro very attractive to Latin American drug cartels.

美国的百元美钞也面对一些竞争,主要是€500欧元的纸钞。面值大的钞票方便转移大数额的钱。打个比方,带着一百万的货币登机,如果是百元钞,钱的重量是22磅。因此很难不用公事包和一些保安措施来携带这么多钱。由于这个做法违反了“美国法典”(US税务守则)第26条的规定,携带超过一万元却不通报(31 USC 5311),就很难通过安检。同等数量的€500欧元纸币的重量就少过三磅,很容易藏在服装和行李箱里分散开来而不引起人们的注意或触动保安设备。对许多非法行动来说,运送货币比起运输可卡因还困难,问题出在纸币的体积和和重量。轻易可运送钞票的欧元就吸引了拉丁美洲的毒品商。

The Swiss 1000 franc note is probably the only other banknote that is in circulation outside of its home country. It is worth slightly more than US$1000. However, to the non-Swiss it doesn’t provide a significant advantage over the €500 note as there are 20 times as many of the €500 note circulating and they are more widely recognized. As a reserve currency it is roughly 0.1% of the currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves.


Governments differ radically in their issuance of large banknotes. As of August 2009, the number of 1000 franc Swiss banknotes circulating is over 3 times the population of Switzerland. In comparison the number of £50 banknotes circulating slightly less than 3 times the population of UK. But the 1000 franc banknote is worth roughly £600. The British government has traditionally been wary of large banknotes since the counterfeiting Operation Bernhard in World War II which caused the Bank of England to withdraw all notes larger than £5 from circulation, and not reintroduce other denominations until the early 1960s (£10), 1970 (£20) and March 20, 1981 (£50). Circulation rates are so low that Britain could stop printing the £50 note and much of the population wouldn’t notice.


There is a banknote for 500 Latvian lats which is currently one of the most valuable notes in the world, as it is worth more than $1000, but it is unlikely to be accepted outside of Latvia. Likewise, the 10000 Singapore dollar note is the most valuable, but is rarely used and unlikely to be accepted outside of Singapore. Other currencies in Europe, like the British pound, and the Scandinavian currencies do not issue large value banknotes. Iceland in particular has never needed much currency since electronic transactions are commonplace, and their population is small with over 60% of the population living in one metropolitan area. Their largest banknote is worth less than €28.


South Korea is an example of a country with a high Human Development Index that fears counterfeiting so much that they don’t utilize large banknotes. South Korea has a larger purchasing power parity per capita than Latvia, but until recently the largest South Korean banknote was worth about US$8, which was a severe impediment to routine business. On June 23, 2009 they issued a new banknote worth five times as much.


The American treasury considered re-issuing a US$500 banknote when the euro banknotes began circulating. There was concern that the high value banknotes would provide competition. However, after recognition that the $500 banknote would provide a huge advantage to worldwide criminal operations and dictatorships, the decision was made not to pursue this option.


Canada briefly issued a $1000 Canadian dollar bill in 1992, but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was able to successfully argue against the continued printing of this bill in 2000; it is still legal tender but no more are being printed, and it will diminish as older bills are destroyed. It was not widely circulated outside of Canada.



See also  另见

  • Central bank  中央银行
  • Digital gold currency  数码式黄金货币
  • Fractional reserve banking  部分储备金银行
  • Full reserve banking  全储备银行
  • Money  货币
  • Monetarism  货币主义
  • Demurrage (currency)  滞期费(货币)


External links  外部链接

  • Extensive discussion   广泛的讨论
  • Sovereignty & Seignorage  主权和铸币税
  • Information about Seigniorage  关于铸币税的信息
  • “The temptation of dollar seigniorage”, By Kosuke Takahashi of Asia Times Online, January 23, 2009.

美元铸币税“的诱惑” , 耿介高桥撰,亚洲时报在线 ,2009年1月23日。

  • “A better way to account for fiat money at the Central Bank” By Thomas Colignatus, December 31, 2005

“一个审计中央银行的法定货币更好的办法” Thomas Colignatus撰,2005年12月31日


Categories  分类

  • Numismatics  钱币学
  • Taxation  税务

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Source >

Translated by > BlogHost

Word Count > approx. 2250 words in English


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