I Money capital
Marx here (edited by Engels, of course) continues directly from where he left off in the previous chapter.
All revenue (including industrial profit), as we have seen, whether designed for consumption or for accumulation, becomes available as loan capital (as a bank deposit) as soon as it exists in monetary form and is not immediately spent. All that is needed is that it form a deposit. ‘The massive nature of the sum of money which has to be transformed back into capital in this way is the result of the massive scale of the reproduction process; but considered for itself, as money capital for loan, it is not itself a sum of reproductive capital. What does Marx mean?
That part of the surplus-value produced destined for unproductive consumption, although it is therefore not capital, exists, because it exists in money form, for certain temporary periods, as loanable money capital; that part of the realised commodity product destined to replace capital also exists for a period in money form and is also available, for a temporary period, as loanable money capital.
Neither in one form nor the other does it in itself represent accumulation, even though its volume grows with the scale of the reproduction process. But it temporarily performs the function of money for loan, i.e. of money capital. In this respect, therefore, the accumulation of money capital must always reflect a greater accumulation of capital than is actually taking place, in so far as the expansion of individual consumption, because mediated by money, appears as an accumulation of money capital, since it supplies the money form for genuine accumulation, for money that initiates new capital investments.
Regarding that part of profit (surplus-value) destined to be accumulated, this too is transformable into money capital if it cannot be directly and immediately relaid out: either because the sector in question is ‘saturated’ with capital; or because it must reach a certain volume, given the technical conditions of production, in order to be so relaid out.
It may turn out that the accumulation of loanable money may exceed spheres of investment. Then we have a ‘plethora’ of loan capital. ‘[T]his […] [overaccumulation of money available for loan] proves nothing more than the barriers of capitalist production. The resulting credit swindling demonstrates that there is no positive obstacle to the use of this excess capital. But there is an obstacle set up by its own laws of valorisation, by the barriers within which capital can valorise itself as capital.’
It is important to grasp this. Money available for loan unable to find an outlet as productive capital will find a use elsewhere, as the existence of speculation, bubbles and the like demonstrates. But in this form it does not necessarily contribute to, and may even positively hinder, the process of capitalist reproduction.
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