Another cognate subject, which is, however, outside the scope of this book, is public financing, which deals with the securing and handling of money and credit for governments - national, state, and municipal.

Public financing has been much studied and written about; many valuable books have been published on such subjects as taxation, governmental loans and their repayment, regulation of governmental expenditures, and the like. Business financing, on the other hand, has been surprisingly neglected; there are only about a dozen books and a few magazine articles devoted wholly to this subject, though, of course, a great deal of valuable information may be gleaned from miscellaneous publications.

Yet the relative importance of the two subjects - public financing and business financing - seems to be in inverse ratio to the amount of study that has been given to each.

In 1912, according to the United States Census, the total value of all the property existing in the United States was approximately $187,000,000,000, of which $12,000,000,000 or 7% was exempt from taxation and $175,000,000,000 or 93% was taxable. Making reasonable allowances for the property of religious, educational, and philanthropic institutions in the tax-exempted classification, there remains only 3% to 5% of the wealth of the United States that is directly owned by national, state, and municipal governments. Against this there is 93% owned and managed by individuals, firms, or corporations. On its face the comparison indicates that the neglected subject of business financing is worthy of thorough and careful study.

There are probably two chief reasons, both inadequate, why business financing has been comparatively overlooked. One is the false notion, prevalent until recent years, that private business is a simple activity unworthy of serious consideration by intellectual men. Another reason is that data; concerning methods of business financing methods are not conveniently assembled in volumes or in reports or statistics, but must be gathered, in large part, at first hand from active business men and from general business experience. As time goes on, the subject will doubtless be more fully investigated and more information will be made available.

It will become evident as we proceed that financing is related also to other business subjects, such as production, selling, organization, etc.; but there is no confusion in its relation to these subjects and no necessity for explanation.