Full text: Capital Gains in Economic Theory and National Accounting

We have further an INVESTMENT - SAVING ACCOUNT which shows 
the uses to which gross savings are put: the finance of gross 
investment, consumer's credit, capital gains creating spending on 
assets, and the budget deficit. Consumer's credit and the budget 
deficit are more often regarded as dissaving, but the practical 
effect of this is to reduce the amount of information. I prefer to 
make it explicit that the consumer's credit of some people must be 
financed by the saving of others, no less so than the budget 
deficit. In the same way the spending on assets, in so far as it 
increases prices, must be financed by the capital gains realised 
by the vendour of the asset. Against these "investments" there 
stand the various types of savings: The personal saving 
( household saving ), gross of consumers'credit and realised 
capital gains, the corporate savings gross of realised capital 
gains and finally ( if we think of American conditions ) the 
foreign balance deficit. Thus by introducing two exogenously 
determined accounts for consumers credit and for realised capital 
gains we can enrich the information given by the accounts in such 
a way that the misconceptions mentioned earlier on can be avoided. 
What then is the practical consequence of all this? It is, quite 
simply, that the publication of one single and unique saving 
ratio, which pretends to be self explanatory and simple, should be 
stopped, and it should be made clear to the public ( which 
unfortunately includes many economists ) that there are various 
saving ratios with different meanings and that it will not do to 
refer to any of them without proper specification. I can already 
hear the objection that this will confuse people. No, they are 
confused already now, only they don't know it. If they realise

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