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Unformatted text preview: 4-1Financial intermediaries are business organizations that receive funds in one form and repackage them for the use of those who need funds. Through financial intermediation, resources are allocated more effectively, and the real output of the economy is thereby increased.4-2Regional mortgage rate differentials do exist, depending on supply/demand conditions in the different regions. However, relatively high rates in one region would attract capital from other regions, and the end result would be a differential that was just sufficient to cover the costs of effecting the transfer (perhaps of one percentage point). Differentials are more likely in the residential mortgage market than the business loan market, and not at all likely for the large, nationwide firms, which will do their borrowing in the lowest-cost money centers and thereby quickly equalize rates for large corporate loans. Interest rates are more competitive, making it easier for small borrowers, and borrowers in rural areas, to obtain lower cost loans.4-3It would be difficult for firms to raise capital. Thus, capital investment would slow down, unemployment would rise, the output of goods and services would fall, and, in general, our standard of living would decline.4-4The prices of goods and services must cover their costs. Costs include labor, materials, and capital. Capital costs to a borrower include a return to the saver who supplied the capital, plus a mark-up (called a spread) for the financial intermediary that brings the saver and the borrower together. The more efficient the financial system, the lower the costs of intermediation, the lower the costs to the borrower, and, hence, the lower the prices of goods and services to consumers.4-5Short-term interest rates are more volatile because (1) the Fed oper-ates mainly in the short-term sector, hence Federal Reserve intervention has its major effect here, and (2) long-term interest rates reflect the average expected inflation rate over the next 20 to 30 years, and this average does not change as radically as year-to-year expectations.4-6Interest rates will fall as the recession takes hold because (1) business borrowings will decrease and (2) the Fed will increase the money supply to stimulate the economy. Thus, it would be better to borrow short-term now, and then to convert to long-term when rates have reached a cyclical low. Note, though, that this answer requires interest rate forecasting, which is extremely difficult to do with better than 50 percent accuracy.Answers and Solutions:4 - 1Chapter 4: ANSWERS TO END-OF-CHAPTER QUESTIONS4-7a. If transfers between the two markets are costly, interest rates would be different in the two areas. Area Y, with the relatively young population, would have less in savings accumulation and stronger loan demand. Area O, with the relatively old population, would have more savings accumulation and weaker loan demand as the members of the older population have already purchased their houses and are less...
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- Spring '10