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ATM Bank Balance Factoid

print bank balance on statement
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
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When your collect your money from an ATM machine, your remaining available balance can also be obtained, but what's left in the actual bank?

ATM Bank Balance Factoid will show you precisely how much money your bank had remaining at the exact instant you made your withdrawal.

In all banks this would be a very large amount, so to understand the figure better, some equivalents of what this sum could actually buy will be provided: eg equates to xxxxx tins of sardines or xxxxx one ton blocks of emmental cheese, or xx solid gold replicas of the propeller of the Titanic etc

xenzag, Jan 07 2022

https://en.wikipedi...he_First_5000_Years [pocmloc, Jan 08 2022]

Bank Of England Gold https://www.bankofe...the-bank-of-england
[xenzag, Jan 08 2022]

The Crimson Permanent Assurance https://www.youtube...watch?v=lNlYBNTCBG8
[Skewed, Jan 09 2022]

UK sale of gold reserves https://www.bbc.co....s/business-48177767
Gordon Brown demonstrates his financial skills to the world. [DrBob, Jan 09 2022]

Gold conversion values https://goldbarswor...onversionTables.pdf
[DrBob, Jan 09 2022]

Thar’s gold in them thar hills! https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x861h0z
[a1, Jan 09 2022]

Why countries, specifically the UK, abandoned the gold standard... https://symmetricin...ndon-gold-standard/
...and why it may not be a great idea to try & re-establish it. [DrBob, Jan 09 2022]


       This would be a varying amount because there are always transactions going on…
xandram, Jan 07 2022

       Ah yes, but at each exact nano second instant there is an amount.
xenzag, Jan 07 2022

       I don't think banks work like this
pocmloc, Jan 07 2022

       I would see it as not so much "what's in the bank" (since it's all digital these days, so there's not really an "in"...); more "the sum total of all balances in all accounts", which will be a definable (although constantly changing, as per [xandram]) value.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 07 2022

       An idea to help facilitate & enhance any future run on a bank?   

       Once the dominos start falling don't withdraw all your money at once, leave a little bit in there so you can withdraw $5 (or whatever the minimum ATM withdrawal is) every few minutes to watch it ticking down.   

       [+] could make for excellent street theatre.
Skewed, Jan 07 2022

       //I don't think banks work like this//

They kind of do. When you pay in money to your bank account (lets say $100 as an example), the accounting entries are made on the bank's balance sheet thusly:-

DR Cash 100
CR Customer bank accounts 100

Each discrete Customer account has a separate accounting code (this is your Bank Account Number) but they are all grouped together as, in this example, Customer Bank Accounts on the balance sheet; under 'Liabilities' because the bank is, generally speaking, obliged to pay you the money back when you want it. So the total value of cash held by the bank on behalf of customers is easily obtained at a moment's notice. When you ask the ATM for your individual account balance it is taken straight from the balance sheet & delivered immediately into your eyes (if you ask for it on-screen) or into your sweaty paw if you want a print-out (unless the ATM has run out of paper. More on this below).

Of course, the bank has it's own cash too and when it receives money as part of its own earnings, the same account entry is made for Cash on the balance sheet but the CR entry is made to the banks own I&E (Income & Expenditure) account*. So the entries are thus:-

DR Cash 100
CR Income received 100

In most modern systems, the accounting entries are posted in real time, so you can see that us clever accountants can provide you not only with the total balance held on your account & on all customer accounts but also the total amount of cash held for all purposes at any given moment**. Of course, we don't do that because we are also sensible businessmen & women, as I shall explain below.

//In all banks this would be a very large amount//

Actually, possibly not. At the start of the day each bank has a rough idea of how much cash it is going to need in order to facilitate that day's business. Anything in excess of that is invested out in order to make a return for the bank. If they have an anticipated shortfall, then they borrow some money from another bank in order to make up the deficit. So it is entirely possible that the bank's cash balance will dip into the negative during the day***. If everybody who makes a withdrawal reads their 'factoid' & sees that, actually, the bank doesn't have much or even any cash at the moment, it doesn't take much imagination to envision the resulting herd panic once this information gets posted on, for example, Twitter. In fact, it would probably lead to a panic if the ATM ran out of paper to print the factoid on. Some idiot would announce to the Twitterati that it was a terrible conspiracy to hide the sad condition of the bank & off we would go into a panic induced recession. More pragmatically, the bank would probably be bombarded with customer queries about the cash balances well beyond its capacity to deal with them. And that's why we don't do it.

Anyway, in summary, fishbone from me because history shows that this is one bit of information that you & I can't be trusted with. You could argue that if people were more educated about it then it wouldn't be a problem, which is true. But then, after a while, people would become terribly blasé about the balances shown on their ATM slips & would completely fail to realise that their bank is about to go tits up, even though they have the evidence right in their hand. It's a lose-lose situation if you ask me!

* Actually it's a bit more complex than that but the end result is normally the same.

** This is probably a lie. But I won't bore you with the hideous complications that arise from the pit of horror known as 'Group Accounts'.

*** In truth, banks are required to keep a certain balance of cash in deposit as a safety net. In the UK, for example, they have a bond posted with the Bank of England (I think that's the rules but I am a bit hazey on this bit, so don't take it as gospel). Every now & then you will hear a bit of panic on the news when one of the major economies decides to 'relax' the rules on this. It tends to go in cycles. Banks collapse. Lives are ruined. The rules are made more stringent. They gradually get relaxed as governments become over-confident about the economy. The banks collapse again. Etc., etc.
DrBob, Jan 07 2022

       Kind of the direction I was pointed [Bob], if far more thoroughly elucidated than my throwaway tangential little snip, though while agreeing entirely, I do feel obliged to take umbrage at the idea I personally can't be trusted with anything, just on general principles of course, specific principles may be a different kettle of cooked ledgers best not gone into.
Skewed, Jan 07 2022

       Indeed. It really goes against the grain, doesn't it! But the capitalist system of money runs entirely on trust* (money doesn't actually represent anything real anymore) &, in this context at least, the more information you give people, the less trusting they tend to be. Probably because there would be a more widespread recognition of what a complete sham the whole system is.

* This of course runs entirely in the banks' favour. You have to trust them. They don't trust you for a minute.
DrBob, Jan 07 2022

       Yep, I strongly suspect the gold or silver standard may actually make a come back some time in my own lifetime, just needs one really big national economic balls up to screw the trust in the currency badly enough & people may begin to look back on those with significant nostalgia.
Skewed, Jan 07 2022

       Thank you [Dr. B.] that is pretty much what I meant but you expressed it rather more coherently, meaningfully and verbosely than I would ever be able to so thank you once again.
pocmloc, Jan 08 2022

       "Verbosity" is my middle name!
DrBob, Jan 08 2022

       [Skewed] I recommend the late David Graeber's book "Debt" which proposes that cycles of commodity money and balance-sheet money alternate over cenury- or millenia- long timescales. SO I suspect that we are at the start of a centuries-long balance-sheet money cycle now and that nostalia for commodity money won't bring it back, at least not for a long time.
pocmloc, Jan 08 2022

       Given the fact that as far as I'm aware entirely unbacked currency is a pretty new thing [poc] & didn't actually exist hundreds of years ago far less millennia in any significant economy that could plausibly be used to extrapolate trends in a modern world economy I'm a more than a little curious about where he got his data sets or other evidence to extrapolate such a century or millennia long cycle between it & a backed currency.   

       In the UK we only finished selling off the gold reserves in 2002 & I'm unaware of any other countries significantly ahead of us in that.   

       Given the assertion of a definite cycle betwixt the two in the order of centuries or millennia 'significantly' would be at the very least several hundred years & preferably more.   

       So I'm pretty sure I can smell bovine processed plant manure wafting from Mr Graeber's direction if that's what he really does claim?
Skewed, Jan 08 2022

       Our up-to-the-nanosecond digital banking system actually contains so little in the bank that I recently had to give them 3 days to round up $2000 actual dollars.   

       Perhaps the 'balance' could be a small photo of what is in the bank's actual safe, exempli gratia: the two dollars from Bailey Building and Loan, Phillies' scraggly $5, $10 and $20s, tumbleweeds and USBs from WestWorld.   

       Or crickets. Probably made of plastic.
Sgt Teacup, Jan 08 2022

       Wikipedia has a reasonable summary of Graeber's book. The thesis is of course not perfect but neither is it //bovine processed plant manure//
pocmloc, Jan 08 2022

       Bank Of England gold reserves see link. "Our gold vaults hold around 400,000 bars of gold, worth over £200 billion."
xenzag, Jan 08 2022

       “That makes the Bank of England the second largest keeper of gold in the world (the New York Federal Reserve tops the list).”
a1, Jan 08 2022

       Huh! I was under the impression Brown had sold 'all' of it [xen], apparently not, that's a pretty small fraction of the value of our currency in savings, debt & circulation though, small enough that I have to wonder why they bothered to hang onto such a small amount, it couldn't plausibly be used to back the currency at anywhere near it's current valuation after all.   

       I'll check out that summary [poc].   

       OK, checked, far from impressed, in many ways I'm getting the same sense of 'narrative' as I do from the woke, critical race theorists & door to door coal salesmen in Newcastle, that summary isn't the book of course but I lack the interest to actually find & read it, especially after that summary, a central plank on which (from that summary) it seems his entire thesis is built appears to be balling up politeness & common decency with favours (given & owed) into a single conglomerate entity then somewhat disingenuously conflating that with 'debt'.   

       I'd further note that 'currency' or money (a medium of exchange, of which there are & have been many, both backed & unbacked) is not 'debt' (which can be measured in any currency you like because they are not the same thing any more than the exchange rate between two currencies is 'money') & in this instance that appears to be an incorrect conflation of yours rather than his.   

       I was talking about currencies, you responded by talking about debt, it's not the same thing at all, you can have money with or without debt & debt with or without money & (more to the point) whatever point we may be in some theorised long term debt cycle is completely irrelevant to if the currency the debt is held in is backed by a commodity or not.
Skewed, Jan 09 2022

       //can be measured in any currency you like//   

       While it's true that debt can be *measured* in any currency you like, the vast majority of debt must be repaid in a given currency, determined at the time when the debt is first contracted.   

       This is why it's possible for issuers of currency to "inflate away" debt. You can dispute whether that's a good thing, but it's undoubtedly a real thing.
pertinax, Jan 09 2022

       Of course [pert] that's pretty much my whole point & you've just agreed with what I said in the first place, that commodity backed currencies may well make a come back because with them that simply doesn't happen to the same extent, if a £1 note is a promissory note for one pound of silver then its value might fluctuate up & down with demand for silver but it can't really be devalued can it [Ponders] assuming of course that the banks actually have the silver.   

       All it might take is one really big fiscal scandal trashing the trust in the value of our fiat money was basically what I said & [poc] responds with some irrelevant blather about debt cycles.
Skewed, Jan 09 2022

       Basically either the gold standard comes back or we're all fucked...   

       ...unless you prefer carting a wheelbarrow worth of useless currency which won't buy you a loaf of bread.   

       In which case... carry on.
...I'm investing in forms of barter.

       Money ain't gonna mean shit soon the way I see things going.   

       Cheese though...
...cheese is going to be big.

       You can make paper?!?!   

       Well shit, why didn't you start with that. Come into my office...   

Hell no! You know how to make gunpowder from chickenshit sulfur and charcoal? Fuck off! Really?

       You're in!   

       Ah... the good old days again eh?   

       //You can make paper?!?! // Well shit//   

       So you're already familiar with our products use then?
Skewed, Jan 09 2022

       Hi [Skewed], I didn't describe anything as "debt" except the title of the book.   

       I was just disputing there was anything natural or fundamental about gold and silver coinage (maybe there is from an anthropological point of view which would describe the nostalgia you mention) but not from a financial or economic point of view.   

       Anyway we have strayed a long way from the original idea... I suppose because the idea seems built on the presumption is of a bank as a building with cavernous vaults stuffed to the rafters with coins and banknotes, rather than as an office with dull looking people typing code into computer terminals.
pocmloc, Jan 09 2022

       //stuffed to the rafters with coins//   

       Sounds good, The Crimson Permanent Assurance was always a much more exciting prospect to work for than this silly modern predilection for boring offices.   

       But that aside yes, for various reasons I'd prefer money to either have or be backed by (or at the very least to be pegged to the value of) something with actual intrinsic value & think anyone who thinks it's better off entirely free floating is as daft as that picture you're trying to paint (that or a snake oil selling con artist or shill) with your coin stuffed vaults imagery.   

       Doesn't matter if it's //natural or fundamental// or not it's just better that way & as I didn't say anything about it being 'natural or fundamental' I'm not sure why you'd mention it, it simply isn't relevant to what I did say, you're not trying to add chaff to obscure the other daft thing you said (that debt cycles equate to if a currency is backed or not) are you? ;)   

       And yes that was what you basically said (that debt essentially = backed or unbacked currency) it's still up there, unless you edited (like I just did this to try & be less argumentative) ;p
Skewed, Jan 09 2022

       // I was under the impression Brown had sold 'all' of it//

He sold off about two-thirds of it...when gold was at the absolute bottom of its market price.

I note that the BoE's gold reserve figure, given in xenzag's link, doesn't state tonnage, only bars. As bars come in different sizes, it makes it difficult to assess exactly how much gold they now have. However, the difference in value between the £3billion that Gordon Brown got for the gold in 1999 & the BoE's current valuation of its reserves at £200billion (even given the inflation in the price of gold) would tend to indicate that they have been building the reserve back up.

If someone wants to do the maths & check then all the necessary info is given in the two links that I have provided above. Please show your workings! :D
DrBob, Jan 09 2022

       //UK sale of gold reserves//   

       Nice link [Bob], even if it is the BBC [spit].   

       I know they say there was a long bear market preceding the sale but still curious about the value hike in gold since the sale, might be worth comparing that to other commodities to figure out if the price rise is in line with other commodities & still relatively the same in relation to them (so likely largely a function of the falling value of 'money'), other possibilities are an uptick in industrial use (any new tech using it developed in that time?), an uptick in the amount of jewellery people are wearing or that someone has been stockpiling it (thus reducing supply), or it could be a general mistrust in fiat money resulting in lots of little people buying it & vaulting it to hedge against inflation rather than a few big ones.   

       In short interested to see where it's going & what the other supply & demand pressures are / have been on it (besides that sudden glut represented by all that gold hitting the market) because all else being equal the increase in the available supply from several governments selling their reserves could have caused the price to fall which it clearly didn't.
Skewed, Jan 09 2022

       Well, if the price didn't fall as a result of government sales, that would tend to indicate that there was an equilibrium between buyers & sellers.   

       I would guess that the most significant new factor for change since 1999 would be the advent of on-line trading, which allows for more parties to get involved in the game. But the bulk of business would still be done by the same players though. Governments & the super-rich.
DrBob, Jan 09 2022

       If I'm reading the article right the sell offs from the UK & other countries had been going on for some years before 1999 (so, the cause of the long bear market?) & had already caused the value of gold to hit bottom?   

       So maybe it was just bounce back (after the sell offs mostly ended / between 2002 & 2011) from the falling confidence in golds value caused by the sell offs while they were happening, that could have deflated golds value below where the increase in supply should have making it ripe for a bounce back, I note from the graph that after a drop in 2011 (a correction from inflated prices caused by people getting over confident in the rising price of gold during that bounce back perhaps?) it largely levelled out from 2013 on so that might be plausible.   

       In my previous anno I was under the impression the price rise in that graph was concurrent with the sales, it isn't it came after, daft of me, I skimmed too fast & hadn't lined up the dates in the article with those on the graph.
Skewed, Jan 09 2022


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