There are not many recognised impossibilities in business, but everybody admits ‘that you cannot found a new private bank. No doubt foreigners cannot take from us our own money; they must send here ‘value in some shape or other for all they take away. The Discount office is open for the discount of good bills, and makes immense advances accordingly. First.
Though the Parliamentary Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary go in and out with each administration, another Under-Secretary remains through all such changes, and is on that account called ‘permanent. On the other hand, as the Bank carries on itself a large discount business, as it considers that it is itself competent to lend on all kinds of bills, the bill-brokers are its most formidable rivals. . But in the end common sense conquers.
So great a reserve need not usually be kept against the Government account as if it were a common account. For the sake of this object the Government are content to forego the extra profit which might be gained by increasing the investments, and have steadily increased instead (as shown in the table on p. │ £m. The totals of the cash balances at various dates are given below. │ Deposits. A Bank of such a character would be very difficult to manage. If there is a run in London, liquid assets must be available there equal to (iii. Bank Governors are generally cautious men; they are taken from a most cautious class; in consequence they are very apt to temporise and delay. But if there had been no such guarantee, and no sale of estates, if the great losses had slept a quiet sleep in a hidden ledger, no one would have been alarmed, and the credit and the business of ‘Overends’ might have existed till now, and their name still continued to be one of our first names. For the most part, men of business must carry on their regular trade; if it cannot be carried on without borrowing 10 per cent more capital, 10 per cent more capital they must borrow. 38. But the recent activity of their promoters has raised some discussion in India as to whether it would not be for the public good to restrain them by legislation.