War finance operations have so disturbed discount operations that it is impossible to show the normal seasonal variations in the discount holdings of the reserve banks. Undoubtedly as soon as the Treasury operations become stable and normal, the graph of average monthly holdings of the system as a whole and of each reserve bank will show a certain symmetry for the various seasons.

The relative activity of the twelve reserve banks in discounting is indicated by the average daily holdings of discounted bills for the years 1919 and 1920:

Bank

1919

1920

Boston ........................

$ 142 million

$ 169 million

New York ...................

726

847

Philadelphia ..............

193

190

Cleveland ..................

126

179

Richmond ...................

94

104

Atlanta .......................

87

"5

Chicago...............

209

417

St. Louis..............

68

109

Minneapolis...........

41

76

Kansas City...........

83

106

Dallas................

52

71

San Francisco..........

81

142

$1,908

$2,530

The number of banks accommodated through discounting grew as follows:

Year

Number of Banks

1917

3,127

1918

5,493

1919

5,993

1920

6,941

The short maturity of discounted bills is highly important in maintaining the liquidity of the system. On this basis the discounted paper holdings of the reserve banks on December 26, 1919, were distributed as follows:

Maturity

Amount

Within 15 days............

$1,484 million

From 16 to 30 days........

245

From 31 to 60 days........

293

From 61 to 90 days........

152

Over 90 days..............

20

$2,194

The calculated average of all such discounts for 1919 was 10.13 Days.