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By Charles R. Geisst (auth.)

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Sample text

Through the Edge Act they are permitted to own equity in a foreign corporation and thus were able to establish themselves in international investment banking through overseas (mainly London) merchant banking subsidiaries, engaged in fee-generated business centred in the euromarkets. The British banking system has evolved along similar lines for different historical reasons. Commercial and investment banking have been separated traditionally because of the independent development of these different types of financial institutions over time.

The European Monetary System is a financial agreement of the members of the EEC to create a basket currency, the European Currency Unit, or International Financial Institutions 5. 21 ECU. The ECU is a weighted currency made of the currencies of the member states that does not include the US dollar in its central value, only the currencies of the members. In order to maintain the value of the basket, member central banks are obliged to maintain their currencies value within an agreed band. 'Sterilisation' intervention technically means that a central bank practising it must make a compensating gesture on its own balance sheet when intervening in the foreign exchange market so that the market intervention does not have an inflationary effect upon the domestic economy.

The way in which funds are diverted by money market mutual funds provides a classic example of the disintermediation process upon commercial banks. When the individual invests in a fund, he either withdraws money from a more traditional bank account or diverts funds ordinarily intended for such an account. The bank now has less low-yielding deposits to lend out at commercial rates. So the bank's funding base can suffer a cutback in growth as well as its profit margins. The increased costs of funding also narrows the spread between the rate of the liability (deposit) as opposed to the rate received on the loan.

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