In economics, money is any financial instrument that can fulfill the functions of money (detailed above). These financial instruments together are collectively referred to as the money supply of an economy. In other words, the money supply is the number of financial instruments within a specific economy available for purchasing goods or services. Since the money supply consists of various financial instruments (usually currency, demand deposits, and various other types of deposits), the amount of money in an economy is measured by adding together these financial instruments creating a monetary aggregate.
Modern monetary theory distinguishes among different ways to measure the stock of money or money supply, reflected in different types of monetary aggregates, using a categorization system that focuses on the liquidity of the financial instrument used as money. The most commonly used monetary aggregates (or types of money) are conventionally designated M1, M2, and M3. These are successively larger aggregate categories: M1 is currency (coins and bills) plus demand deposits (such as checking accounts); M2 is M1 plus savings accounts and time deposits under $100,000; M3 is M2 plus larger time deposits and similar institutional accounts. M1 includes only the most liquid financial instruments, and M3 relatively illiquid instruments. The precise definition of M1, M2, etc. may be different in different countries.
Another measure of money, M0, is also used; unlike the other measures, it does not represent actual purchasing power by firms and households in the economy.M0 is base money, or the amount of money actually issued by the central bank of a country. It is measured as currency plus deposits of banks and other institutions at the central bank. M0 is also the only money that can satisfy the reserve requirements of commercial banks.In current economic systems, money is created by two procedures:Legal tender, or narrow money (M0) is the cash created by a Central Bank by minting coins and printing banknotes.Bank money, or broad money (M1/M2) is the money created by private banks through the recording of loans as deposits of borrowing clients, with partial support indicated by the cash ratio. Currently, bank money is created as electronic money.In most countries, the majority of money is mostly created as M1/M2 by commercial banks making loans. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out deposits that savers place with them, and do not depend on central bank money (M0) to create new loans and deposits.
Market liquidity" describes how easily an item can be traded for another item, or into the common currency within an economy. Money is the most liquid asset because it is universally recognized and accepted as a common currency. In this way, money gives consumers the freedom to trade goods and services easily without having to barter.
Liquid financial instruments are easily tradableand have low transaction costs. There should be no (or minimal) spread between the prices to buy and sell the instrument being used as money.