"What are the Funds?" The writer has been asked this question over and over again, though it seems scarcely credible that, in these days, any person of ordinary intelligence should be ignorant of the meaning of the term. Unfortunately these things are not usually taught in our schools.

"The Funds," generally speaking, is the term applied to the National Debt of Great Britain, the money borrowed by the Government from the people, chiefly for the purpose of carrying on the great wars at the beginning of the present century. For these loans as much as 5 per cent. has in former years been paid, but at present 2 3/4 is the rate payable on the great bulk of the debt.

The year after the Battle of Waterloo the National Debt amounted to nine hundred millions of money; at the present time it amounts to about five hundred and seventy millions, and is steadily diminishing. This being the case, there is of course no need of further borrowing at present, but the loans outstanding - any portion of them - may be bought and sold in the market; that is, any lender may transfer all or any part of his loan to some other person, and as there are, daily, hundreds and thousands of individuals wanting to buy or to sell, there is no difficulty whatever, through the medium of the Stock Exchange, in arranging so that a person can obtain, or dispose of, the exact amount of stock he desires.

The chief method by which the National Debt is reduced is described under the head of Terminable Annuities.