In America, or the world at large, is there more money in people's pockets---i.e., not within banks or institutions, etc.---or in banks or institutions, etc? Provide evidence and reasoning.

closed as off-topic by Dilip Sarwate, ChrisInEdmonton, JoeTaxpayer Dec 28 '14 at 0:47

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  • How on earth is this a question even remotely related to personal finance? – Dilip Sarwate Dec 27 '14 at 22:16

In banks and institutions where you could look at the money supply of M1 which is the physical currency in circulation compared to M2 which would be all the deposits that tend to be valued much more. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/ would be the link where as of Nov. 2014 the figures are M1 - 2,849.8
M2 - 11,588.7

Footnotes from that:

M1 consists of (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) traveler's checks of nonbank issuers; (3) demand deposits at commercial banks (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign banks and official institutions) less cash items in the process of collection and Federal Reserve float; and (4) other checkable deposits (OCDs), consisting of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) and automatic transfer service (ATS) accounts at depository institutions, credit union share draft accounts, and demand deposits at thrift institutions. Seasonally adjusted M1 is constructed by summing currency, traveler's checks, demand deposits, and OCDs, each seasonally adjusted separately.

M2 consists of M1 plus (1) savings deposits (including money market deposit accounts); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000), less individual retirement account (IRA) and Keogh balances at depository institutions; and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds, less IRA and Keogh balances at money market mutual funds. Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail money funds, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Where M1 sounds like the physical money outside the banks and M2 is the money inside the banks. Did you mean something more specific here?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product would be a link about GDP in terms of economic output that has more than a few pieces to it that I'm sure whole courses in college are devoted to understanding this measurement.

  • So we're talking 33% or about 1/3 is out and about. What can be said about this "out and about" metric; that is, vis-a-vis the nation's economy. – Pecunia Petunia Dec 27 '14 at 21:47
  • The economy of a nation is usually measured in GDP and wouldn't be what I'd consider money since the same dollar could be recycled over numerous transactions, e.g. the dollar I give to McDonald's for dinner that is used to pay an employee that gets used at a store to another employee and so on and so on. – JB King Dec 27 '14 at 21:50
  • I'm sure that this metric varies across nations. What could be said at all about it---as far as variability goes? – Pecunia Petunia Dec 27 '14 at 21:51

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