February 17, 2004

Book-Entry Securities

Jeroen found this definition:

"Securities that are recorded in electronic records called book entries rather than as paper certificates."

and this one:

"a method of registering securities. There is no physical certificate. Ownership is solely reflected by an entry in the books of the issuer."

Which doesn't say much really. Still, it's their term and they get to define it. Question is, what do we call Ricardo, in contrast to "book entry securities."

In essence, Ricardo uses book entries. So do all systems of any sophistication, as book entries have gathered popularity since the 13th century invention of double entry book keeping.

Token money people - blinded bearer coins - were fond of pointing out that book entry was the problem. In a way, it was, but it wasn't that it was using books, but the inefficiencies brought in by its vague pencil & abacus approach to the whole situation. As the books were quite brief in their information, and as they were mostly updated manually, with frequent error corrections, the system can't really maintain any reliable accuracy.

RIcardo does book entry without the errors. All the information is there, and each entry only needs to be made once. Once made, it stays made. How hard is that?

However hard it was, it might not be as hard as creating a metaphor to show the difference between Ricardo and book entry securities!

Posted by iang at February 17, 2004 09:06 PM | TrackBack