One of the most objectionable features of the former reserve system was the decentralization and parceling of the reserves among the 7,500 national banks and the 21,000 state institutions. The system was positively wasteful of our gold reserves so far as supporting a credit superstructure was concerned. The same size of credit structure as was supported by the gold in the national bank system could have been supported with as great or greater safety by a much smaller amount of gold had that gold been concentrated in a central institution. The seasonal increases and decreases of reserves required would largely balance one another, and the demands of any one section would amount to only a small fraction of the total massed reserves. By this means the central institution would be enabled to extend loans in the direction needed, runs on banks could be abated and deserving solvent banks protected, and the strength of the whole system correspondingly increased. What is essential is that this central reserve-holding institution should hold the reserves in actual cash or in highly liquid form. The object of the federal reserve scheme is to mobilize and concentrate the gold reserves into the federal reserve banks and increase their efficiency.