investment opportunity. You have the cash and would like to lend him the money, but to protect your investment, you have to hire a lawyer to write up the loan contract that specifies how much interest Carl will pay you, when he will make these interest payments, and when he will repay you the $1,000. Obtaining the contract will cost you $500. When you figure in this transaction cost for making the loan, you realize that you can't earn enough from the deal (you spend $500 to make perhaps $100) and reluctantly tell Carl that he will have to look elsewhere.
This example illustrates that small savers like you or potential borrowers like Carl might be frozen out of financial markets and thus be unable to benefit from them. Can anyone come to the rescue? Financial intermediaries can.
Financial intermediaries can substantially reduce transaction costs because they have developed expertise in lowering them; because their large size allows them to take advantage of economies of scale, the reduction in transaction costs per dollar of transactions as the size (scale) of transactions increases. For example, a bank knows
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At least once in every person’s life comes a time when the need is great and the resources are few. It can be hard enough to make ends meet on a decent wage, but, when the times get tough and the money just is not there to meet the need, a person can easily despair.