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A Guide to the Financial Markets by Charles R. Geisst (auth.)

By Charles R. Geisst (auth.)

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At the same time, the actual number of stockbroking firms declined in the 1970s as most institutional investors tend to have their portfolios managed by bankers. Germany provides similar statistics for foreign listings. Between 1948 and 1963 only I 0 new listings were applied for on the exchanges. In 1965, 625 issues were in existence; by 1975 they had dwindled to only 470. But this did not dissuade foreign issuers. Over 150 foreign companies are listed in Frankfurt and over 50 per cent of them are American and Japanese.

In fact, this is the actual process of intermediation described in a less formal sense in the last chapter. Intermediaries take the savings of households, aggregate them and redeploy them to borrowers meeting their institutional criteria. This becomes a form of intermediated investment with one substantial difference from the intermediation phenomenon in the stock markets: the intermediaries in the money markets are financial institutions and banks whose very business it is to perform this function.

The hiatus left by the individual was filled by institutional investors but several qualifications should be made here on this point. In a public opinion study published in 1978, the NYSE concluded that 54 per cent of households in the United States had never owned a share. 7 This means that the individuals themselves had never owned a share but does not preclude the fact that they may nevertheless have been the indirect owner of shares through a mutual fund, pension fund or the like. Thus, the process of intermediation by institutions on behalf of individuals in some respects accounts for the slack left by the individuals themselves.

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