By Brett Fiebiger, PhD
“Soddy distilled his eccentric vision into five policy prescriptions, each of which was taken at the time as evidence that his theories were unworkable: The first four were to abandon the gold standard, let international exchange rates float, use federal surpluses and deficits as macroeconomic policy tools that could counter cyclical trends, and establish bureaus of economic statistics (including a consumer price index) in order to facilitate this effort. All of these are now conventional practice. Soddy’s fifth proposal, the only one that remains outside the bounds of conventional wisdom, was to stop banks from creating money (and debt) out of nothing.” – Eric Zencey, Mr. Soddy’s Ecological Economy, 11 April 2009.
Some economists are new to endogenous money though it is has long been recognised. Here is Frederick Soddy, Wealth, Virtual Wealth, and Debt, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1926, p. 147:
THE PRIVATE ISSUE OF MONEY; A CHANCE RESULT OF THE BANK CHEQUE SYSTEM
No doubt there are still many people, if not the majority, who will be frankly incredulous that money vastly exceeding in amount the total national money can be, and is created and destroyed by the moneylender with a stroke of the pen. How frequently does one still read in the Press that the banks can only loan their customers spare money! Most people still think of what money once was, “a public instrument owned and controlled by the State.”
Alas, nearly ninety-years later, the mainstream economics profession has yet to realise basic facts of how the modern monetary system functions. There is much relevance in Soddy’s work to those who deride followers of the endogenous money approach as “money mystics” and also to those who adhere to State-centric theories of money. More from Frederick Soddy, The Role of Money, George Routledge and Sons, London 1934, pp. ix-x:
“This book will show what money now is, what it does, and what it should do. From this it will emerge the recognition of what has always been the true rôle of money. The standpoint from which most books on modern money are written has been reversed. In this book it is not treated from the point of view of bankers—as those who create by far the greater proportion of money—but from that of the PUBLIC, who at present have to give up valuable goods and services to the bankers in return for the money that they have so cleverly created and create. This, surely, is what the public really wants to know about money.
It was recognised in Athens and Sparta ten centuries ago before the birth of Christ that one of the most vital prerogatives of the State was the sole right to issue money. How curious that the unique quality of this prerogative is only now being rediscovered. The “money power” which has been able to overshadow ostensibly responsible government, is not the power of the merely ultra-rich, but is nothing more nor less than a new technique designed to create and destroy money by adding and withdrawing figures in bank ledgers, without the slightest concern for the interests of the community or the real rôle that money ought to perform therein… To allow it to become a source of revenues to private issuers is to create, first, a secret and illicit arm of the government and, last, a rival power strong enough ultimately to overthrow all other forms of government [Emphasis added].”
The context is that the banking community plus orthodox economists were denying that banks can create money ex nihilo; the former knowing full well the opposite to be true; and at least some of the latter also knowing but playing along. Why? Soddy (1934, p. 7) was not unaware of class issues: “Orthodox economics has never yet been anything but the class economics of the owners of debts.” Soddy (1934, p. 51):
The Banker as Ruler.—From that invention dates the modern era of the banker as ruler. The whole world after that was his for the taking. By the work of pure scientist the laws of conservation of matter and energy were established, and the new ways of life created which depended upon the contemptuous denial of primitive and puerile aspirations as perpetual motion and the ability ever really to get something for nothing. The whole marvellous civilisation that has sprung from that physical basis has been handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to those who could not give and have not given the world as much as a bun without first robbing somebody else of it… The skilled creators of wealth [in industry and agriculture] are now become hewers of wood and drawers of water to the creators of debt, who have been doing in secret what they have condemned in public as unsound and immoral finance and have always refused to allow Governments and nations to do openly and above aboard. This without exaggeration is the most gargantuan farce that history has ever staged.
Why was Soddy so vehemently against the Bankers/Rentiers? Remember the context. We had in the 1920s simmering tensions over war reparations from World War I being fought for whose interests: those of the creditors within creditor nations. In the UK the complaint was that international debts were not being paid at the pre-war exchange rate parity. The world had also endured a history of certain banking houses (sometimes family) influencing public policy while maintaining a sham that private bankers were not money creators (clearly, purely historical because we solved Wall Street having too much influence on policymaking objectives that would assist Main Street). Later, in the 1930s amidst the Great Depression, it was financial interests who were the most vocal in advocating for sticking with the rigidities of fixed exchange rates with gold convertibility. Soddy (1926) called for fiat money and reiterated that call in the following quote:
Free the Exchanges.—As regards its external economic transactions, both with other nations and with the members of its own family, free the exchanges and put them also under national supervision. Let them find their own level and not drag down nations to the level of the lowest. Let us forget how many dollars in America, francs in France, or marks in Germany used to go to the pound under the gold-standard… Reduce gold to the rank of a commodity merely for convenient international settlement and let it be bought and sold like any other goods (Soddy, 1934, p. 122).
Frederick Soddy is an intriguing though largely omitted character in the history of economic thought. In 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for pioneering work on atomic transmutation (including such things predicting as the existence of isotopes). Soddy was dismissed as a “crank” by his opponents on at least two occasions. Firstly, understanding the potentials of nuclear energy, he expressed concerned that a government might do something outrageous like use the power of radioactivity to make a weapon (say a nuclear bomb). He turned to the field of economics because he saw the intense competition amongst nations (wars for resources) and control over money as was what wrong with human civilisation. Soddy (1926, p. 23, 31):
Have we obtained dominion of the major powers of Nature to fall a victim to our own machinery and ultimately to be destroyed by it? Is our civilisation to end in breeding the Robot [war machines] and the rentier, and to go down under class conflicts at home and fratricidal wars abroad? Is there much point in multiplying by a million the powers already conferred by science if the use we make of those we already have are sufficient to endanger the future of civilisation?
… What is the evil genius that perverts even the fulfilment of our sanest hopes and labours, and makes progress more like a nightmare climb among slippery slopes of ever-increasing steepness, than the mass march of humanity along a broad high road, made straight and smooth by increasing knowledge, order and law? Is it idle to aspire to a more dangerously exalted civilisation until something of the definiteness and certainty of the economics of a fuel-engine can be extended to the economy of men. So that the crying need becomes not for ever and ever greater accessions of physical power, but for the knowledge how to secure the fruits of what we already possess. The strong still plunder the weak, nations and individuals alike, whereas there is that in the growth of knowledge which would make the whole world kin. But that cannot come about until we understand what is wrong, nor whilst we attribute to an economic system mysterious powers which a physicist would laugh at.
Soddy was called a “monetary crank” for describing endogenous money. Soddy (1934, p. 62-3):
Genuine and Fictitious Loans.—For a loan, if it is a genuine loan, does not make a deposit, because what the borrower gets the lender gives up, and there is no increase in the quantity of money, but only an alteration in the identity of the individual owners of it. But if the lender gives up nothing at all what the borrower receives is a new issue of money and the quantity is proportionately increased. So elaborately has the real nature of this ridiculous proceeding been surrounded with confusion by some of the cleverest and most skilful advocates the world has ever known, that it is still something of a mystery to ordinary people, who hold their heads and confess they are “unable to understand finance.” It is not intended that they should.
Soddy and Debt-Deflation: Give some Kudos Please
Soddy (1926) proposed abolishing private bank money creation. Irving Fisher came a decade latter (Irving Fisher, 100% Money, The Adelphi Company, New York, 1935) but forgot to say where in might have read it elsewhere. Quoting now from Soddy (1926, pp. 157-8):
It is easy in criticising the monetary system to give a false impression of what it really was. Though by the creation of money and the inflation of the currency by bank credit the community as a whole are robbed of the wealth equivalent to the new creation, it must not be supposed that the banks ever had or claimed any legal title to the ownership of the money so created. They got the permanent use of it and the ownership of the interest it was issued for. The industries to which the money was lent got from the community for nothing–at the expense of the general purchasing power of money–the wealth they purchased with the new money, but had to restore it when the loan was repaid and the credit cancelled. In practice if was never more than temporarily cancelled; it was renewed to other borrowers on the first opportunity.
Soddy (1926, p. 158) then describes a “debt-deflation” process which Fisher (‘The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions’, Econometrica, vol. 1, 1933, pp. 337-57) was to claim as his own idea:
The banks traded on a monetary capital they created themselves, but made no pretensions to possessing. If they were wound up and their businesses discontinued all of the excess of their liabilities over their assets would have to be made good by those to whom they have lent money. The quantity of money would be reduced then to, say, one-sixth of the present amount or less. Prices, “in the end,” would be reduced to one-sixth unless a corresponding quantity of genuine national money were issued to take the place of the fictitious money destroyed, though, as Mr. Keynes has sagely observed in a similar connection, “in the end we are all dead.” If this were not done, the last loan to be recalled would have to be paid in money worth six times that at which it was issued, and the average for the whole amount of the loans would be over twice their initial purchasing power. This is a somewhat vital distinction between real money and the phantom money being described. With the repayment of a genuine loan the quantity of money is not affected. With the repayment of fictitious loans there is so much less money in existence, so that repayment becomes increasingly difficult as it is enforced. If issued in boom and cancelled in slump they are repaid in units of money worth more than when borrowed.
Soddy (1926, p. 174-5) informs on ‘the evils of a shortage of currency [i.e. money including that issued by banks]’ in the context of price-deflation that this is because “In general all debts would have appreciated in real amount, as money prices fell. The dead hand of the past would have been heavy on the land.” He then goes on to lay out the argument in more detail starting first by noting what economists would later call “sticky prices”:
PRODUCTION REDUCED RATHER THAN PRICES. But the really vital evils of a currency scarcity are due to its reducing production rather than prices. The quantity theory of money [in footnote: For an exposition of the quantity theory of money see Irving Fisher The Purchasing Power of Money] works beautifully one way. Increasing the quantity of money temporarily increases, but makes no very lasting difference to, the aggregate virtual wealth, and prices very quickly rise in proportion to the increase… But decreasing the quantity of money is apt to decrease virtual wealth in proportion much more permanently, leaving prices unchanged and production reduced through the ruin of those engaged in enterprise.
… Whereas an excess of money is an inducement to sale, a deficit is a fatal barrier. To the vendors, whose business if is to sell wealth for money, money is the primary consideration. To the buyer and consumer wealth is. The consumer is exposed to increased competition with others, due to an increase of the quantity of money, and is powerless to resist a rise in prices. But no one in his senses, who has produced wealth for sale or caused it to be produced, and has, over a period of past rime, incurred the charges involved in production, is going willingly to sell it at a loss to suit the quantity theory of money. If his competitors essayed to do so, they could hardly compete long. The result is that less goods are bought with the less money at the same price, not that the same goods are bought at a reduced price. Or, in the case under consideration, that the opportunity to increase production by new inventions remains for long unexploited, and, with increasing powers of production, the production of wealth, as in this country now, stagnates.
Observe the explicit reference to Fisher and an argument that his theory only works one way. The argument in the above quote was that even with a fall in the quantity of money (i.e. money destruction) that prices may not fall and instead the economy suffers a contraction due to a decline in output (or stagnates). Soddy (1926, p. 175-6) acknowledges that for a period of rising prices “the quantitative theory is a rough guide to the facts” but that for a period of deflation “it would work if it did not have the unfortunate consequence of ruining those committed to enterprise–labour and capital alike–and, in the end, in Mr. Keynes’ sense of the word, “after we are all dead,” no doubt must work.” In plainer language: it won’t work.
Here is the opening quote to Fisher’s (1933) now famous article on debt-deflation:
In Booms and Depressions , I have developed, theoretically and statistically, what may be called a debt-deflation of great depressions. In the preface, I stated that the results “seem largely new,” I spoke thus cautiously because my unfamiliarity with the vast literature on the subject. Since the book was published its special conclusions have been widely accepted and, so far as I know, no one has yet found them anticipated by previous writers, though several, including myself, have zealously sought to find such anticipations. Two of the best-read authorities in this field assure me that these conclusions are, in the words of one of them, “both new and important.”
Smell a rat? There is an unusual degree of professing originality; first, admitting unfamiliarity with the literature and then proclaiming finding nothing in spite of zealous searching. The Nobel Laureate calling economists dismal scientists was perhaps not on his reading list. Was it just another coincidence that Fisher’s (1935) proposal for monetary reform was also a carbon-copy of that put forward by Soddy (1926, 1934)? This is the gist of Fisher’s (1933, p. 40-1, 44) debt-deflation:
I venture the opinion… that, in the great booms and depressions… [the two dominant causative factors are] over-indebtedness to begin with and deflation following soon after.
… The two diseases act and react on each other … deflation caused by the debt reacts on the debt. Each dollar of debt still unpaid becomes a bigger dollar, and if the over-indebtedness with which we started was great enough, the liquidation of debts cannot keep up with the fall of prices which it causes. In that case, the liquidation defeats itself. While it diminishes the number of dollars owed, it may not do so as fast as it increases the value of each dollar owed. Then, the very effort of individuals to lessen their burden of debts increases it, because of the mass effect of the stampede to liquidate in swelling each dollar owned. Then we have the great paradox which, I submit, is the chief secret of most, if not all, great depressions: The more the debtors pay, the more they owe [Emphasis in original].
I cannot see endogenous money anywhere in his version of debt-deflation. Soddy (1926, p. 174-5) told us that the problem with price-deflation is that “In general all debts would have appreciated in real amount, as money prices fell.” Soddy (1926, p. 158) already clarified in an earlier passage that with a reduction in the quantity of money by one-sixth and supposing any equal fall in prices (specifying an interrelation) that a debtor’s debts “would have to be paid in money worth six times that at which it was issued” and that with “so much less money in existence… repayment becomes increasingly difficult as it is enforced.” Fisher’s (1933) “debt-deflation” was inferior actually defective when compared to Soddy (1926) as he: (1) omitted bank money and its destruction from the story (vague “dollars” repaid not destroyed); and, (2) in the words of Hyman Minsky “did not explain how overindebtedness developed (‘Financial Instability and the Decline (?) of Banking’, Levy Economics Institute, October 1994, p. 6).“ Here is Soddy (1934, pp. 70-3) on The Credit or Trade Cycle:
1. A period in which the increase of money (through more bank loans on the average being issued than repaid) occurs faster than the Virtual Wealth increases [i.e. the amount of money the community holds thus abstaining from purchasing real wealth] and prices are therefore rising. …
2. Though all other prices are rising, that of gold is arbitrary fixed. This, in itself, means that gold falls in value relatively to goods. …
3. The banker now decreases the quantity of money in existence by not renewing his loans so fast as they are repaid. These loans, contracted in a period of rising prices, have now to be paid back in a period of falling prices so that, through the change in the purchasing power of money and quite apart from the interest paid for the loan, the goods and services that have to be given up by the borrowers to obtain the money to repay must always on the average be greater than those obtained by them with the money by were lent. Before any considerable proportion of these loans can be paid it becomes impossible to obtain the money, that is to sell goods, except at a ruinous loss to the producers. Hence a number of them are rendered bankrupt. Their collateral is sold by the bank, or, if it will now not fetch the amount to repay the loan, appropriated by them.
Is it understandable to not get Endogenous Money [Keynes]?
JMK got a lot of things right though clarity on banking was not one of them. His two major works were the Treatise of Money (1930) and the General Theory (1936). In the former we got the “bull” and “bear” lingo and the idea that deflation and economic slowdowns can accompany a decline in the velocity of money connected to bearish speculators “hoarding” “cash”. In the latter the idea of “money hoarding” was transformed into a “liquidity preference”. Quoting from Chapter 15:
We can sum up the above in the proposition that in any given state of expectation there is in the minds of the public a certain potentiality towards holding cash beyond what is required by the transactions-motive or the precautionary-motive, which will realise itself in actual cash-holdings in a degree which depends on the terms on which the monetary authority is willing to create cash. It is this potentiality which is summed up in the liquidity function L2. Corresponding to the quantity of money created by the monetary authority, there will, therefore, be cet. par. a determinate rate of interest or, more strictly, a determinate complex of rates of interest for debts of different maturities … If the monetary authority were prepared to deal both ways on specified terms in debts of all maturities, and even more so if it were prepared to deal in debts of varying degrees of risk, the relationship between the complex of rates of interest and the quantity of money would be direct [Emphasis added].
In the above quote Keynes (1936) is clearly arguing the money supply is determined exogenously by the central bank. He is also framing his arguments around the money-item “cash” (which Krugman tends to do as well) as if the money-item created by private banks is not important. There is debate as to what Keynes meant when he wrote “cash” or “money” with the short story being that such terminological vagueness was unhelpful. Turning now to Chapter 17 of the General Theory:
In the case of money, however—postponing, for the moment, our consideration of the effects of reducing the wage-unit or of a deliberate increase in its supply by the monetary authority—the supply is fixed. Thus the characteristic that money cannot be readily produced by labour gives at once some prima facie presumption for the view that its own-rate of interest will be relatively reluctant to fall; whereas if money could be grown like a crop or manufactured like a motor-car, depressions would be avoided or mitigated because, if the price of other assets was tending to fall in terms of money, more labour would be diverted into the production of money;—as we see to be the case in gold-mining countries, though for the world as a whole the maximum diversion in this way is almost negligible [Emphasis added].
Again Keynes (1936) is denying endogenous flexibility of the money supply (and, yes there was endogenous money even in commodity-paper monetary systems). From Chapter 18:
Thus we can sometimes regard our ultimate independent variables as consisting of (i) the three fundamental psychological factors, namely, the psychological propensity to consume, the psychological attitude to liquidity and the psychological expectation of future yield from capital-assets, (2) the wage-unit as determined by the bargains reached between employers and employed, and (3) the quantity of money as determined by the action of the central bank; so that, if we take as given the factors specified above, these variables determine the national income (or dividend) and the quantity of employment. But these again would be capable of being subjected to further analysis, and are not, so to speak, our ultimate atomic independent elements [Emphasis added].
At no point does Keynes (1936) get around to excluding “the quantity of money as determined by the action of the central bank” from one of the “ultimate atomic independent elements”. One can pull quotes from the General Theory or from JMK’s other works, which when looking at the words from a particular angle and adding in a qualifier, might be suggestive that Keynes recognised the endogeneity of the money supply process. Still the overriding message in the economics of Keynes on the subject of money supply determination was the assumption that it was fixed-exogenously by the central bank. Post-Keynesians thus have a mixed view on the General Theory.
While Keynes (1936) rejected the Wicksellian “natural rate” and the neutrality of money, his theory of “the” [long] interest rate invoked the notion of “liquidity preferences” as the main determinant; with the discussion framed problematically in terms of a constant money supply. The belief that monetary authorities could control the money supply sparked a thought bubble in Milton Freidman that did not turn out well (and still imbues the work of his market monetarist followers with errors). One can use the “liquidity preferences” concept in a revised sense to understand portfolio decisions and the term structure of interest rates (e.g. decisions to switch from safer into riskier assets and to go long or short). The concept remains controversial as it gave the impressions: (1) central bankers wield enormous control over the money supply; and, (2) private banks make decisions to part with liquidity rather than to create liquidity. The final word goes to Nicholas Kaldor (1982, The Scourge of Monetarism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, p. 26) who remarked that once Keynes’ assumption of a fixed money supply is dropped: “liquidity preference turns out to have been a bit of a red herring.”
So it is understandable why someone working in the Keynesian tradition might not understand endogenous money. Consider Keynes’ (1936, p. 167) Chapter 13 remarks on something seemingly as uncomplicated as a definition:
It should be obvious that the rate of interest cannot be a return to saving or waiting as such. For if a man hoards his savings in cash, he earns no interest, though he saves just as much as before. On the contrary, the mere definition of the rate of interest tells us in so many words that the rate of interest is the reward for parting with liquidity for a specified period. For the rate of interest is, in itself, nothing more than the inverse proportion between a sum of money and what can be obtained for parting with control over the money in exchange for a debt1 for a stated period of time.
[In footnote] 1. Without disturbance to this definition, we can draw the line between “money” and “debts” at whatever point is most convenient for handling a particular problem. For example, we can treat as money any command over general purchasing power which the owner has not parted with for a period in excess of three months, and as debt what cannot be recovered for a longer period than this; or we can substitute for “three months” one month or three days or three hours or any other period; or we can exclude from money whatever is not legal tender on the spot. It is often convenient in practice to include in money time-deposits with banks and, occasionally, even such instruments as (e.g.) treasury bills. As a rule, I shall, as in my Treatise on Money, assume that money is coextensive with bank deposits [Emphasis added].
The definition is very much disturbed to the point that what exactly Keynes may have meant when he wrote the terms “cash” or “money” in any given passage will remain guesstimates.
Is it understandable to not get Endogenous Money [Minsky]?
[M]oney, in truth, is an endogenously determined variable – the supply is responsive to demand and not something mechanically controlled by the Federal Reserve… Banking is not money lending; to lend, a money lender must have money.
– H. Minsky ( Stabilising an Unstable Economy, Yale University Press, 2008 pp. 252-6)
The money flows are first from depositors to banks and from banks to firms: then, at some later dates, from firms to banks and from banks to their depositors [Emphasis added].
– H. Minsky (‘The Financial Instability Hypothesis’, Working Paper No. 74, Levy Economics Institute, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 1992, p. 2)
One can find quotes in Minsky’s work where he recognises the endogeneity of the money supply and even book chapters on the subject; however, it is a stretch to infer that endogenous money was a central concern of Minsky’s research or played a lynchpin role in his Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH) (e.g. Minsky; 1975; 1986; 1992) the “core” aspects of which were developed back in the 1950s without any deliberations on the endogeneity of the money supply. It is worth quoting Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia (‘Minsky’s financial fragility hypothesis: A missing macroeconomic link?’, 2001, p. 78) at length on this issue:
While there is no doubt that Minsky has made major contributions to a monetary theory of production, there remain some obvious problems with his analysis, problems which have not often been fully recognised by those who subscribe to his analytics… [Notably, in Minsky’s 1954 doctoral dissertation and 1957 paper,] the formal macroeconomic model, which leads Minsky to conclude that economic expansions lead to higher debt and leverage ratios for business firms is, in fact, based on a loanable funds approach that stands largely in contrast to the Keynesian principal of effective demand… Minsky’s reliance on a loanable funds approach is clearly spelled out when he claims that ‘the excess of ex ante saving over induced investment will be utilised to reduce bank debt’ (Minsky, 1982, p. 243). In the Kalecki-Keynes framework, any excess of savings over investment will lead to unsold production – the profit realisation problem – and hence to increases in debt for producers. The excess savings will be lent by the banks to businesses to make up for their losses. Unfortunately, Minsky says the opposite. He claims that excess savings will help to reduce debt! This is why in recessions debt ratios should fall, unless there is a price deflation. In this regard, it could be argued that his 1957 model belongs much more to what Schumpeter (1954, p. 276) had described as the orthodox tradition of real analysis, and not to that of monetary analysis proper… Indeed, even as late as his 1975 book on Keynes, the only formal equations, which can be found on page 135, still incorporate the basic elements of a loanable funds approach [Emphasis added].
None of this is to deny the ‘real-world’ relevance of Minsky’s contributions to Post Keynesian theory; notably, that capital economies are prone to periodic endogenous financial instability. The point remains that endogenous money was not critical to Minsky’s FIH. As a final case I will quote from a 1992 Levy Economics Institute paper entitled ‘The Financial Instability Hypothesis’. On page two Minsky writes “The financial instability hypothesis also draws upon the credit view of money and finance by Joseph Schumpeter (1934, Ch.3)” which suggests that he also give much credence to the ‘Austrian School’ emphasis on the role of private banks as creators of net/new “purchasing power”. The word “money” appears 26 times in the paper (including five times in a quote from Keynes) though the phrases “endogenous money” and “purchasing power” are both absent. When Minsky (1992, pp. 2-3) starts to discuss money he provides a long quote Keynes (1972, p. 151):
A considerable part of this financing [of entrepreneurial activity] takes place through the banking system, which interposes its guarantee between its depositors who lend it money, and its borrowing customers to whom it loans money wherewith to finance the purchase of real assets [Emphasis added].
The italicised section gives the impression that Keynes thinks banks are mere intermediaries that borrow money from depositors in order to lend to customers. Not only does Minsky (1992, p. 3) raise no objections to Keynes’ mistake he goes on to write in a passage quoted above but certainly worth reiterating: “The money flows are first from depositors to banks and from banks to firms: then, at some later dates, from firms to banks and from banks to their depositors.” There are no further clarifications or retractions forthcoming on this issue in Minsky’s (1992) albeit condensed version of the FIH. Point to take: as Keynes and Minsky were not exemplary adherents of the endogenous money approach then perhaps everyone should be a little gentler with those who are old to economics but new to understanding it. It may be understandable to misunderstand endogenous money; though as to whether it is acceptable, I would say that it is unfortunate and unhelpful to not.