The Financial Market Economy

Financial markets develop to facilitate borrowing and lending between individuals. Here we talk about how this happens. Suppose we describe the economic circumstances of two people, Tom and Leslie. Both Tom and Leslie have current income of $100,000. Tom is a very patient person, and some people call him a miser. He wants to consume only $50,000 of current income and save the rest. Leslie is a very impatient person, and some people call her extravagant. She wants to consume $150,000 this year. Tom and Leslie have different intertemporal consumption preferences.

Such preferences are personal matters and have more to do with psychology than with finance. However, it seems that Tom and Leslie could strike a deal: Tom could give up some of his income this year in exchange for future income that Leslie can promise to give him. Tom can lend $50,000 to Leslie, and Leslie can borrow $50,000 from Tom.

Suppose that they do strike this deal, with Tom giving up $50,000 this year in exchange for $55,000 next year. This is illustrated in Figure 3.1 with the basic cash flow time chart, a representation of the timing and amount of the cash flows. The cash flows that are received are represented by an arrow pointing up from the point on the time line at which the cash flow occurs. The cash flows paid out are represented by an arrow pointing down. In other words, for each dollar Tom trades away or lends, he gets a commitment to get it back as well as to receive 10 percent more.

In the language of finance, 10 percent is the annual rate of interest on the loan. When a dollar is lent out, the repayment of $1.10 can be thought of as being made up of two parts. First, the lender gets the dollar back; that is the principal repayment. Second, the lender receives an interest payment, which is $0.10 in this example.

Ross-Westerfield-Jaffe: I II. Value and Capital I 3. Financial Markets and I I © The McGraw-H

Corporate Finance, Sixth Budgeting Net Present Value: First Companies, 2002 Edition Principles of Finance

Chapter 3 Financial Markets and Net Present Value: First Principles of Finance (Advanced) 47 ■ Figure 3.1 Tom's and Leslie's Cash Flow

Tom's cash flows

Cash outflows - $50,000

Leslie's cash flows

Cash inflows $50,000

Cash outflows

Now, not only have Tom and Leslie struck a deal, but as a by-product of their bargain they have created a financial instrument, the IOU. This piece of paper entitles whoever receives it to present it to Leslie in the next year and redeem it for $55,000. Financial instruments that entitle whoever possesses them to receive payment are called bearer instruments because whoever bears them can use them. Presumably there could be more such IOUs in the economy written by many different lenders and borrowers like Tom and Leslie.

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