If every person in the world shared equally in the world's supply of money, each one would have the equivalent of $560, according to Bank of America's calculations. That's $60 more than in 1981.
''Computing the per-capita share of each country's money, the figures come out vastly different,'' observes Robert Heller, the bank's vice-president of international economics. While there is almost $2,000 for each US citizen, each Brazilian could claim about $80, at the going exchange rate of cruzeiros. Brazil's money supply increased 80 percent last year.
In contrast, the Swiss money supply has remained virtually constant since 1977. This amounts to about $4,000 for each Swiss resident.
''Stable money means that people are willing to hold the currency as an asset , and this increases the demand for it, not only at home, but also abroad,'' Mr. Heller said. ''The real value of the money stock is lowest in the countries that print the most new money and is highest in those countries that keep the actual money stock virtually constant.''