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The Importance Of Studying Money Finance Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Finance
Wordcount: 977 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Money helps us in avoiding the “double coincidence” of needs as required by a barter economy and by enabling specialization. However, the money supply has a lot of effects on the well being of its users. Some of these effects can be summarized as inflation, wealth creation/destruction etc. Thus it is very important to study money.

Banking and financial markets are intermediaries that help provide a common platform, or a market place, for all individuals to inter act with each other. Banking and financial markets provide liquidity to the system and helps 2 individuals with exactly opposite needs meet on a common platform. Without an apt knowledge of the banking and financial markets, it is impossible to understand how changes around us would affect our wealth and in which way can we best utilize our wealth and help it grow and accumulate.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using financial intermediaries….

Financial intermediaries help us by bringing together those entities with surplus funds and willingness to lend, with those with a shortage of funds and willingness to borrow.

The benefits of such intermediation include; maturity and risk transformation, lesser transaction costs due to higher liquidity, better bargaining power due to alternative options etc. The function of financial intermediaries is to provide these advantages and make a profit while raising the overall efficiency of the economy.

The disadvantage of financial intermediation is that such intermediation may be expensive on occasions. As seen in the recent economic crisis, financial intermediaries may also falter on exploiting structural loopholes in greed of higher profits in the short term while posing a threat to the economic stability in the long term.

The given computer entry tells us that the Northwestern Energy company has issued bonds on March 15, 2001, with a principal value of $100,000, expiring in 20 years on March 15, 2021 and carrying an interest rate of 6% payable semi-annually. In the event of interest rates rising for new bonds issued in to the market for the same quality, it would imply that the bonds issued by Northwestern will be relatively expensive and thus less attractive than the newer bonds. Therefore, the value of the Bonds issued by Northwestern will have to fall to an extent that the yield on the bond becomes equal to the yield of the newer bonds issued. In making this inference we are assuming that the yield and interest rates are same.

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Friedman’s belief that when Fed lowers interest rates, they fall but do not stay lower for very long, reiterates his belief that in a free economy, the market always sets up at an equilibrium. Even though, there may be interventions by monetary authorities desired to accomplish certain goals and objectives, such intervention only leads to a temporary imbalance in the demand and supply attributes and over a longer period of time, the market resets itself to equilibrium.

In the graph above, we assume that Dd is the initial money demand curve and Ss is the initial money supply curve. Thus, at equilibrium i* is the market determined interest rate and Q* the money supply and demand. Now, if the central bank authorities bring this interest rate down to say ia, a new but short lived equilibrium is formed due to the shift of the supply curve from Ss to Ssa. At this equilibrium, the demand curve has not yet responded to the change in Fed rates. Now as per Friedman, due to a lower interest rate, the liquidity in the market increases, thereby pushing the income of individuals northward. With higher level of incomes, inflation sets in due to a shift in the demand curve from Dd to Dda and the price levels begin to rise to offset the increase in income. Since inflation is a component of interest rates, the interest rates also rise proportionately in order to reset the market at another equilibrium where, in the example above, i* is the equilibrium interest rate and Q*a is the equilibrium money supply and demand.

A company that has never received a bond rating will have to contact the rating agency, say Fitch, first. Once the agency is contacted, a credit analyst collates and gathers information required to determine risk to investors who might own or buy the bond. The kinds of information that are to be dispersed are background and history of the company/entity, industry trends, management vision/mission, experience, track record, and attitude towards risk, organization structure etc. He then analyzes the information on hand and develops a conclusion in committee on the appropriate rating. The analyst may also seek explanations and clarifications in to business procedures and audit some financial statements. After the rating is finalized, the agency monitors the security on an ongoing basis.

In 2009, the Fed and the treasury were facing the most difficult times they have had to face since the great depression. On 19th March 2009, Fed decided to expand its balance sheet by a US$1,000,000,000,000. The Fed announced that it would inject up to $750 billion in Agency MBS that year. This was over and above an earlier commitment of $500 billion. Fed also announced the buying in to Agency bonds for $200 billion. It further declared that it would purchase up to $300 billion of longer dated Treasuries over the term. So, what was the fear behind such drastic measures? Answer is deflation. Earlier that year in January, Fed took the historic step of cutting the benchmark interest rate to as low as zero. They also called for greater government spending to help revive the economy. Such drastic measures were the result of the failure of Fed efforts like record rate cuts, emergency lending programs and backstops for debt markets, to halt the crisis.


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