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Bank clearings have long been regarded as one of the most
valuable indices of the volume of commercial transactions had
during a given period. Implicit in this is recognition of the fact
that payments, where more than a few dollars are involved, are
today almost universally made by check. It is, of course, recognized,
however, that such statistics contain an element of unreliability
in that an increase in amount may be accounted for, at
least in part, by a greater use of bank deposits, as well as by
reason of a greater amount of business done. The movement to
popularize the "trade acceptance" as an instrument to displace
the open book account has no doubt contributed to the increase
in volume of bank clearings, but without occasioning a corresponding
increase in commercial transactions. Possibly it might
also be shown that a greater number of time or demand notes
have been drawn payable at banks than heretofore, and, like the
trade acceptance so payable, have contributed to the aggregate
of bank clearings. But whatever their utility to reflect an increase
in the volume of business, clearing statistics testify convincingly
that bank deposits and the instruments used to avail
of deposits are elements of increasing significance in the financial
scheme of things.

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banking, commercial transactions, bank deposits