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are stock markets less important than other external sources? Third, bonds are more important than stocks infinancing firms (32 per cent versus 11 per cent in the USA). The difference in the relative share, however, is less remarkable in Japan (9 per cent bonds versus 5 per cent stocks). Nevertheless, the combined amount of stocks and bonds, which constitutes marketable securities, represents 43 per cent in the USA, and only 15 per cent in Germany and 14 per cent in Japan. What are the reasons limiting the use of marketable securities