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How firms choose between sources of financial capital

There are clear patterns in how businesses raise financial capital. These patterns can be explained in terms of imperfect information, which as discussed in Information, Risk, and Insurance , is a situation where buyers and sellers in a market do not both have full and equal information. Those who are actually running a firm will almost always have more information about whether the firm is likely to earn profits in the future than outside investors who provide financial capital.

Any young startup firm is a risk; indeed, some startup firms are only a little more than an idea on paper. The firm’s founders inevitably have better information about how hard they are willing to work, and whether the firm is likely to succeed, than anyone else. When the founders put their own money into the firm, they demonstrate a belief in its prospects. At this early stage, angel investors and venture capitalists try to overcome the imperfect information, at least in part, by knowing the managers and their business plan personally and by giving them advice.

Accurate information is sometimes not available because corporate governance    , the name economists give to the institutions that are supposed to watch over top executives, fails, as the following Clear It Up feature on Lehman Brothers shows.

How did lack of corporate governance lead to the lehman brothers failure?

In 2008, Lehman Brothers was the fourth largest U.S. investment bank, with 25,000 employees. The firm had been in business for 164 years. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. There are many causes of the Lehman Brothers failure. One area of apparent failure was the lack of oversight by the Board of Directors to keep managers from undertaking excessive risk. Part of the oversight failure, according to Tim Geithner’s April 10, 2010, testimony to Congress, can be attributed to the Executive Compensation Committee’s emphasis on short-term gains without enough consideration of the risks. In addition, according to the court examiner’s report, the Lehman Brother’s Board of Directors paid too little attention to the details of the operations of Lehman Brothers and also had limited financial service experience.

The board of directors, elected by the shareholders, is supposed to be the first line of corporate governance and oversight for top executives. A second institution of corporate governance is the auditing firm hired to go over the financial records of the company and certify that everything looks reasonable. A third institution of corporate governance is outside investors, especially large shareholders like those who invest large mutual funds or pension funds. In the case of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance failed to provide investors with accurate financial information about the firm’s operations.

As a firm becomes at least somewhat established and its strategy appears likely to lead to profits in the near future, knowing the individual managers and their business plans on a personal basis becomes less important, because information has become more widely available regarding the company’s products, revenues, costs, and profits. As a result, other outside investors who do not know the managers personally, like bondholders and shareholders, are more willing to provide financial capital to the firm.

Questions & Answers

determination of perfect competition
Mumbere Reply
How can economics be important to us
Obed Reply
how can economics be important to us
Winny
economics is important on expenditure analysis
Umar
because it is to make choice
Puosour
Economics also provide the individuals the opportunity to make significant contributions to make social and economic development in their country
Sarah
Economic is important because of the fact of scarcity and desire for efficiency...
Ernest
it enable us to make rational choice
Osman
Price falls and demand is inelastic Please define it with an example and diagram.
Muhammad Reply
difference between nominal gdp and real gdp
Sakshi Reply
main is adjustment for inflation
cleophas
what are the factors of production
Sheku Reply
capital, labor, technology
Lucas
is economic a science
Emmanuel Reply
as economic a science
Emmanuel
yes because it study human behavior
Ahmed
yes it deal with human activity and the welfare of people in the country
Nsobila
yes because it uses scientific methods of solving problems
Osman
yes
Sarah
yes because it uses scientific methods in solving problems
Sarah
pls can I ask a question
Sarah
yes
Nyakeh
Pls what are the characteristics of opportunity costs
Sarah
identify the type of price elasticity of demand
Mamie
economic is a science
Azeez
Is Economics a Science
Albert Reply
what is scarcity
Edmore Reply
Scarcity is the limitedness of resources relative to human wants. In economic sense means that the available resources are not sufficient to satisfy all human wants.
Innocent
Moreover, Fiscal policy deal with government revenue and expenditure. Government expenditure puts money in public hands while government revenue withdraws the money. Role of fiscal policy is to reduces money circulation as a means of reducing demand.
Innocent
What is an inflationary spiral?
Innocent
Suppose that you 're nominated as a Minister of Finance in your country's. How can you finance a deficit budget?
Innocent
is economic a science
Emmanuel
yes because we studying human behaviour
Umar
what are the factors of production
Sheku
pls Emmanuel adjei do we know each other
Hawa
Emmanuel adjei pls did u attend living God school
Hawa
Can you explain the terms 'fiscal deficit' and 'fiscal policy'?
Brahmani Reply
fiscal deficit refers to the government expenditure exceed expected to the government revenue
Innocent
fiscal deficit is like budget deficit
Innocent
fiscal policy it occurs when the government takes and maintain the strategic to resolve the inflation.
Innocent
What is inflation?
Braa Reply
increase in general price level
suresh
a sudden increase in prices of goods that effects our cost of living
Brahmani
it is increase in the general price of goods and services in an economy
Mumbere
what is Debenture in economy
Gideon Reply
what is economic
Vida Reply
Economic is a seines which study the human behavior as ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Debrah
Economics is the study of how human make decisions in the face of scarcity. These can be individual decisions, family decisions, business decisions or societal decisions.
Wandji
Economics is a science that study human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which may have alternative uses.
Elizabeth
in my opinion, economics helps us to learn decision making not only in short term but in long term too
shubham
What is Debenture in economy
Gideon
what is special directives
Emmanuel Reply
what is demand
Joseph Reply
Demand simply refers to the amount of goods and services which the consumer is willing and able to purchase at each price
Owusu
Demand refers to the quantity of goods and services an individial is willing and able to purchase or buy at various price over a period of time
Elizabeth
what is mean by unitary elastic demand
Bangniyel Reply
demand is said to be unitary elastic when the percentage change in the demand is equal to the percentage change in the price
George

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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