How Banks Work

When you put your money into a money market savings account it earns interest just like in a regular savings account. See more banking pictures.
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The funny thing about how a bank works is that it functions because of our trust. We give a bank our money to keep it safe for us, and then the bank turns around and gives it to someone else in order to make money for itself. Banks can legally extend considerably more credit than they have cash. Still, most of us have total trust in the bank's ability to protect our money and give it to us when we ask for it.

­Why do we feel better about having our money in a bank than we do having it under a mattress? Is it just the fact that they pay interest on some of our accounts? Is it because we know that if we have the cash in our pockets we'll spend it? Or, is it simply the convenience of being able to write checks and use debit cards rather than carrying cash? Any and all of these may be the answer, particularly with the conveniences of electronic banking today. Now, we don't even have to manually write that check -- we can just swipe a debit card or click the "pay" button on the bank's Web site.


In this article, we'll look into the world of banking and see how these institutions work, what you would have to do to start your own bank, and why we should (or shouldn't) trust them with our hard earned cash.