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Function of Financial Markets. 1. Allows transfers of funds from person or business without investment opportunities to one who has them 2. Improves economic efficiency. Financial Markets: . Direct finance: through securities (IOU’s) Indirect: intermediaries

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Function of Financial Markets

1. Allows transfers of funds from person or business without investment opportunities to one who has them

2. Improves economic efficiency


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Financial Markets:

  • Direct finance: through securities (IOU’s)

  • Indirect: intermediaries

  • Saving transaction costs (search)

  • Maturity, Stocks, Dividends (residual claim), Debt, IPO’s (underwriting), Brokers, Dealers…


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Classifications of Financial Markets

1. Debt Markets

Short-term (maturity < 1 year) Money Market

Long-term (maturity > 1 year) Capital Market

2. Equity Markets

Common stocks

1. Primary Market

New security issues sold to initial buyers

2. Secondary Market

Securities previously issued are bought and sold

1. Exchanges

Trades conducted in central locations (e.g., New York Stock Exchange, Chicago Commodity)

2. Over-the-Counter Markets

Dealers at different locations buy and sell


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Internationalization of Financial Markets

International Bond Market

1. Foreign bonds – of a foreign entity denominated in home currency (German producer issues in US in $)

2. Eurobonds – denominated in foreign currency (in £ in the US)

Now larger than U.S. corporate bond market

  • World Stock Markets(U.S. stock markets are no longer the largest)

  • Eurocurrencies – deposited outside the home country

    • Eurodollars (Russia, Middle-East)


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Function of Financial Intermediaries

Financial Intermediaries

1. Engage in process of indirect finance

2. More important source of finance than securities markets

3. Needed because of transactions costs and asymmetric information

Transactions Costs

1. Financial intermediaries make profits by reducing transactions costs (search costs)

2. Reduce transactions costs by developing expertise and taking advantage of economies of scale (liquidity services)


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Function of Financial Intermediaries

Risk Sharing

1. Create and sell assets with low risk characteristics and then use the funds to buy assets with more risk (also called asset transformation, by pooling of funds).

2. Also lower risk by helping people to diversify portfolios


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Asymmetric Information: Adverse Selection,and Moral Hazard

Adverse Selection

1. Before transaction occurs

2. Potential borrowers most likely to produce adverse outcomes are ones most likely to seek loans and be selected (“gamblers” have high return & risk => need to borrow often)

Moral Hazard

1. After transaction occurs

2. Hazard that borrower has incentives to engage in undesirable (immoral) activities making it more likely that won’t pay loan back

Financial intermediaries reduce adverse selection and moral hazard problems (by developing monitoring expertise), enabling them to make profits





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Regulation of Financial Markets

Is it good or bad? Would it work without it?

Two Main Reasons for Regulation are:

1. Increase information to investors (decrease asym. info)

A. Decreases adverse selection and moral hazard problems

B. SEC forces corporations to disclose information

2. Ensuring the soundness of financial intermediaries

A. Prevents financial panics

B. Chartering, reporting requirements, restrictions on assets and activities (banks - no stocks, insider trading, etc.), deposit insurance, and anti-competitive measures


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