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Two Tasks

In the centuries since financial markets first appeared, there have been many types of financial institutions. These include several kinds of banks, insurance companies, stock brokerage firms, mutual funds, venture capital companies, pension funds, and many others. Each type can be rated according to how well or badly it performs two important tasks. The first task is to stay in business, protect the money entrusted to them, and meet their obligations as they come due.

The second task is less obvious but also very important: to transmit pressure to perform. All types of financial institutions distort the depositors’ priorities to some degree. Some do better than others in the little-noticed but pivotal task of transmitting priorities.


  

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