The metal which constitutes the standard is of less importance to-day than it was in 1870; because during these years an enormous superstructure of credit has been built upon a very small supply of actual money. It would have mattered extremely little, during the past ten years, whether the reserves were held in gold or silver or in any other metal - so long as there was an adequate supply of it. Modern business has once again returned as near as possible to the ancient system of barter, i.e., exchange of commodities for commodities, with as little intervention of actual money as possible. Thanks to the aid of the banks, and the credit system in general, business in its essentials to-day is nothing else but a glorified barter.