Accounting meets economics: towards an 'accounting view’ of money

  • Biagio Bossone
  • Massimo Costa Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Finanziarie - Università degli studi di Palermo
  • Andrea Cuccia
  • Giuseppe Valenza


This study lays the foundations of the “Accounting View” of money. Using international accounting principles, the study argues that state and central bank monies are not debt, and that in fractional reserve regimes only a share of commercial bank money can be regarded as debt. The study determines how the seigniorage associated with the issuance of these monies should be accounted for in the financial statements of the issuing institutions, and examines what this implies for the correct understanding of money. The new view throws light into such issues as the true nature of central bank capital, commercial banks, and digital currencies. Drawing on it, new measurements of seigniorage are derived and applied to the case of the UK (for which recent estimates exist). The results reveal that seigniorage, in particular that extracted by commercial banks, is a quantitatively relevant phenomenon.