Money creation, or money issuance, is the process by which the money supply of a country, or of an economic or monetary region,[note 1] is increased. In most modern economies, money creation is controlled by the central banks. Money issued by central banks is termed base money. Central banks can increase the quantity of base money directly, by engaging in open market operations. However, the majority of the money supply is created by the commercial banking system in the form of bank deposits. Bank loans issued by commercial banks that practice fractional reserve banking expands the quantity of broad money to more than the original amount of base money issued by the central bank.
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Central banks monitor the amount of money in the economy by measuring monetary aggregates (termed broad money), consisting of cash and bank deposits. Money creation occurs when the quantity of monetary aggregates increase.[note 2] Governmental authorities, including central banks and other bank regulators, can use policies such as reserve requirements and capital adequacy ratios to influence the amount of broad money created by commercial banks.