On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and signaled the start of the Great Recession. One key cause of that recession was a failure of financial intermediaries, or, the institutions that link different kinds of savers to borrowers.
We’ll get to intermediaries in the next video, but for now, we’ll first look at the market intermediaries are involved in.
This market is the combination of savers and borrowers—what we call the “market for loanable funds.”
To start, we’ll represent the market, using two curves you know well—supply and demand. The quantity supplied in the market comes from savings, and the quantity demanded comes from loans. But as you know, we have to factor in price. In the case of the market for loanable funds, the price is the current interest rate.
What happens to the supply of savings when the interest rate goes up? When are borrowers compelled to borrow more? Or less? We’ll cover these scenarios in this video.
One quick note: there’s not really one unified market for loanable funds. Instead, there are many small markets, with different sorts of lenders, lending to different sorts of borrowers. As we said in the beginning, it’s financial intermediaries, like banks, bond markets, and stock markets, which link these different sides of the market.
We’ll get a better understanding of these intermediaries in our next video, so stay tuned!
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