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I know that cash is a financial asset and securities are defined as tradable financial assets, so cash is a security, right?
Another thing I'm wondering is that whether cash/banknote is a debt instrument or not. On wikipedia it is defined as one of a debt securities.

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I don't think cash could be described as a security... one of the characteristics of securities is that they have imperfect (if very high) liquidity and provide a return (be it fixed or variable). Cash is the definition of liquid and inherently provides no return - you could earn interest on cash by depositing it in a bank but then you are creating a debt obligation in effect - the cash inherently, as in cash in a physical safe, generates zero return nominal by definition. You could think of cash as a debt security where a debt is theoretically placed on the issuer. But: in practice the debt is impossible to pay. You cannot bring a bill into the fed and demand they honour it. So I suppose it would be a debt security in the theoretical sense but it lacks almost all properties of debt securities: cannot be repaid in practice, never intended to be repaid, perfectly liquid etc, and it has a value that cannot be expressed in terms of anything but itself.

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I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is, as a matter of US law, cash is not a security because it is explicitly exempted under The Securities Exchange Act of 1934:

The term ‘‘security’’ means any note, stock, treasury stock, security future, security-based swap, bond, debenture, certificate of interest or participation in any profit-sharing agreement or in any oil, gas, or other mineral royalty or lease, any collateral-trust certificate, preorganization certificate or subscription, transferable share, investment contract, voting-trust certificate, certificate of deposit for a security, any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege on any security, certificate of deposit, or group or index of securities (including any interest therein or based on the value thereof), or any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege entered into on a national securities exchange relating to foreign currency, or in general, any instrument commonly known as a ‘‘security’’; or any certificate of interest or participation in, temporary or interim certificate for, receipt for, or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing; but shall not include currency or any note, draft, bill of exchange, or banker’s acceptance which has a maturity at the time of issuance of not exceeding nine months, exclusive of days of grace, or any renewal thereof the maturity of which is likewise limited.

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, Section 3, Part 10

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