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Economics/Fiat Money, old and new


Hi there.   I´d like to understand more about the concept of fiat money and how the concept of fiat money has changed in the last 150 years.

The definition of fiat money, as I understand it and in short is something like ´´any currency made legal by the government in spite of the fact that there are no reserves to attach it to and that has no intrinsic value.´´  (Some definitions include caveats regarding paper money, but that does´t seem to represent the overlying idea.

So:   Is electronic money, i.e. bank account holdings, stocks and bonds and other forms of economic holdings (could you give me more examples of electronic money?)  considered fiat money?  If not, why not?

Any insights are welcome, just don´t forget that I am not anything close to being economists.

The second part of my query stems from a conversation I had with my roommate about what a nation wide run on the banks would cause.  

He implies that a run on the banks could motivate the proverbial ´´1%,´´ and the bankers to capitulate to a system something akin to the gold standard which would precipitate policy change toward less economic inequality, Vs.  what I say, which is that a run on the banks (taking all the hard currency out of the banks) would only cause the poor and middle class to suffer particularly because the wealthy have created a NEW fiat money system, one in which representations of wealth are now electronic rather than paper bonds, while the rest of the population is still relying on paper fiat money and over-valued commodities, such as real estate.

Would you enlighten us a bit?  


Apologies for the delay. Was out of town and had no access to internet for a while.  Back to your question. I believe you need to clarify some more definitions of money and money supply. High powered money, also known as M(o), is the amount of bills and coins in circulation, to that you ad checking deposits and you get M(1), savings and you get M(3), thus adding to the definition of money different levels of liquidity.  You may want to get some background reading on the monetary market, how it works in theory before venturing into more difficult topics.  Any textbook on Macroeconomics will do or any google search which provide you with the basics will do too.
Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about electronic currency, and bitcoins being an example.  I am not sure is you are referring to this or not. However, I do sense some concept mixing in your question.   
Good luck and again, apologies for the delay.


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