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

By Charles R. Geisst (auth.)

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The major difference in economic function that has occurred is simple; the fund has siphoned off some of the money traditionally destined for a bank. As a result, banks will in some cases be forced to fund through the money market where the same funds will be willing to buy these short-term obligations at the prevailing rates. So the bank is now paying more for its funds, the money market mutual funds profit, and the investor also receives a higher rate of interest than the bank was originally able to offer.

The reason is simple: the loan is secured by the property itself. If the Commercial Banking 31 individual defaults on the loan the bank can foreclose the mortgage in order to protect its asset (the loan). If, on the other hand, a bank makes a loan to a foreign government, the ability to pay back is determined by the government's financial position (balance of payments, trade balance, budget deficit or surplus) and is usually not secured. So if a sovereign state's revenues should drop and it finds itself unable to repay its debts, there is little recourse other than the courts to retrieve the funds.

GENERAL FUNCTIONS On the broadest level, the functions of commercial banks will vary depending upon the nature of the economy in which they operate. In some small economies, commercial banks perform functions normally associated with governmental agencies in larger, industrialised countries, such as the issuance of currency. But for the most part, the role of commercial banks tends to follow general lines although the means by which they accomplish them can be done through different sorts of products, or financial packaging.

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