There are many people who have an extra money and want to credit this money to make gains by investing this money, at the other side, there are many people need money to use it in many aspects of life e.g. students need money to pay for their education, home buyer need money, business financial investors also need money and so on, for all of these needed financial intermediary to play an important rule to link between investors and borrowers. There are many risk may happens if there is no intermediate between lender and borrower, information asymmetry one of these risk and in this case information between seller and buyer are different, so it leads to two issues adverse selection and moral hazard. Adverse selection is happened when the one of parties know information more than the other parties, or if the one of parties know information that the other parties not have. Moral hazard is the situation which if the two parties make an agreement about something and one of these parties not obligate with the agreement terms. All these issues help to explain why banking institutions and other financial intermediaries exist. So, let's go to talk about financial intermediaries and how it can help individuals to deposits and loans by using the easiest way without high level of risk. Also, in we will talk in the following about the terms Information asymmetry, Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard.
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Financial intermediary is institutions that take money from investor and depositors and give this money to the borrowers as loans, the main aim from these institutions to link between the depositors whom are seeking for credit and borrowers whom are seeking loans from financial institutions. There are many forms of financial institutions like investing banks, life insurance companies, saving loans associations, building and loan associations, commercial banks, credit unions and investment companies. (Investor Directory)
Using financial intermediaries in investing give the investors many advantages, let us to talk about the two main advantages, first, making investing through financial intermediaries could reduce the risk of these investments, because directly the investor not have a large base to give his loans, so in this case there is bad diversify, therefore the investor will face a high risk, but by using financial institutions as middleman to invest money we find that the diversify is good, because these institutions have a big base from lenders and borrowers and it invest in a different business which don't have a relation between it. In this case we have a good diversify, so the risk will decreased more than if we investing directly. Second, also financial intermediaries help to give savers the liquidity, liquidity is the ability to convert assets into money (cash) quickly. For example if an individual saver lent someone (borrower) money to but house or asset, and in an argent case he needs his money, in this case there is a house now not money, so it is very difficult to convert this asset to cash quickly, it takes a lot of time to do that. But with financial intermediaries could help the saver by giving him the money that he need by provide him the liquidity very quickly than individual, if the financial intermediary doesn't have liquidity at that moment, it can obtain help from the government or another financial institution. (Ingrimayne)
The economic business is depend on that all individuals whom owned an economic relationships have a perfect knowledge, also may have similar predictions about the future prospects. But in real, the both parties of each relationship suffer from incomplete information, sometimes they suffer from information asymmetry situation which means the probability of happening the future actions is randomly. the situation that have a different information between the both parties leads to conflict in interests of both parties who have the relationship, therefore this leads to uncertainty which represents in moral hazard and adverse selection. (M. A. Al-Garny)
Information asymmetry means the situation where there is information which knows to some parties but not to all parties. Asymmetric information can lead to different in the cost between internal and external finance, e.g. seller is know an information on the subject of the quality of assets will be disinclined to agree the conditions offered by buyer who has less information about that asset, this may cause market break down, or may be also cause buying the asset in low price, but if all buyers and sellers have complete information, the situation here will be different. (WSU)
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Also information asymmetry makes market turn into inefficient, because information is not available to the entire market participant, thus they can't make a good decisions for their businesses. (Investor Words)
There are two issues that caused by Information asymmetry, adverse selection and moral hazard. We will talk about these two Issues at the following:
First: Adverse Selection
Adverse Selection, negative selection or anti-selection is a term which simply means a situation where the buyer and seller have different information about the some aspects of product quality. (Wikipedia)
For example in the firms managers and other insides may know more information (about the current position of the firm and the future prospects of the firm) than the outsider investors, in this case the outer information may differ than the inside information, therefore the solution for this problem in this situation is by issuing financial reports to insure the information transferred perfectly from inside firm to the outside investors to help them to make good decisions. (Money Instructor)
George Akerlof's in his paper "The Market for Lemons" located two answers for adverse selection problem, signaling and screening.
Michael Spence proposed the suggestion of signaling to solve the information asymmetry problem. In this situation, it is potential for people to indicate their style, therefore credibly transferring information to the other party.
Joseph E. Stieglitz the first one who put the screening theory. In this way the under informed party can make the other party to know their information. Sometimes the sellers may know information better than the buyers, like peoples who sale used car, life insurance transactions, real estate agents, realtors, mortgage brokers and loan originators, and stockbrokers. And sometimes the buyers may know information better than the sellers, like the man who sale old art pieces with no previous expert evaluation or health insurance customers of a range of risk levels. (Wikipedia)
Second: Moral Hazard
The concept of moral hazard comes from insurance industry. Moral hazard is an idea saying that the person will take risk if he has an incentive to do that, therefore the person will ignore some morality aspects of his selection. Instead, he will do what will increase his profits. Anyone knows the tradeoff between return and risk, if he takes risk there may be consequences. The indifference comes when the risk comes without consequences. Also we can define moral hazard as if someone or party that has insurance cover may be further ready to take risks than the other who does not, e.g. if there is a person who has a car and his car is insured against stealing may be more not careful about dropping the probability of stealing than other would has been without such insurance. This point exactly tells us why insurance companies need to overtake (the amount of an appeal driven by the insurer person) majority claims, and decrease premiums rapidly as overtaking growing. It is also why insurer is extremely cautious about the assessment of what he insures and why he is not lawfully necessary to give more than the actual cost of what he cover. Moral hazard also is able to occur at the outer of insurance. Banks and financial institutions over and over again include embedded state guarantees (not official or lawfully obligatory guarantees, other than a common prospect which they are too significant to be unsuccessful). This creates a motivation used for the administration to take larger risks as they will profit from gambles that work, other than the state will give for individuals so as to do not. (Money Terms)
I conclude that the financial intermediaries are able to change the risk of assets for cause that they know how to locate an answer for a market breakdown and defeat an information asymmetry problem that come up in credit markets for the reason that borrowers be acquainted with superior concerning their plan than lenders do.
Also the financial intermediaries exist to help in solving many issues as we said in this paper. It plays the middleman rule in linked between the borrower who need to finance in his business and lender who want to investing and gain profits taking into account the important rule of this institutions by save the lender from asymmetric information, adverse selection and moral hazard. Because the main issue from its foundation is to collect information about borrowers and this job not easy. This issue is very costly for individuals (small lenders) but when there is financial intermediaries can help the lender to insure where he can invest his money without risks if he gives his money to wrong person, by providing him full information about good borrowers, at the same time this job here doesn't cost a lot because the big size of consumers that they connected with market.
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On the other hand, there are also still some risks when we deal with financial intermediaries. But with some regulation and other instruction it will be decreased to minimum limit.