Financial Services Industry Analytics Essay

Submitted By johnogrady
Words: 832
Pages: 4

The market being analyzed is the Investment Banking and Securities Dealings (IBSD) market within the Financial Services Industry. An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations and governments in raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client's agent in the issuance of securities. IBSD has a NAICS code of 523110, a six digit code which lends to the fact that it is in fact accurately defined as market (industry). Finally, the concepts of competition and substitutability also applies when analyzing this industry in that firms within the market have a high degree of competition amongst each other and the services provided are in fact so similar that they are viewed as essentially substitutable or interchangeable – “apples for apples and oranges for oranges”. According to the US Census Bureau the concentration ratio 4 (CR4) and concentration ratio 8 (CR8) for this industry are 51.8 and 76.6 respectively. By industry analytic standards this means that the industry is an oligopoly. Additional evidence shows that within the IBSD industry there are only 4 US firms that control the industry accounting for just shy of 50% of the market share. That being said, amongst the top 4 firms their make-up of the nearly 50% of the market share is nearly equal. Furthermore, amongst these firms there is no firm that distinguishes itself as a price leader. Finally, through lobbying and legal action the firms show legal forms of implicit collusion. All of these factors, to include the additional factors in the red box in figure 1, cause me to conclude that the industry is a non-competitive oligopoly and currently “pegged” as indicated by the dotted red line. That being said I recognize and acknowledge that the day to day level of competition within the market is high and the trend is increasing (the IBIS site confirms this as well). It is my assessment that the aggregate effect of all the other factors I have addressed still cause it to be pegged as shown even while acknowledging the high competition. As the industry is currently pegged the US Government (USG) should take action and develop an approach to regulation and intervention to mitigate the effects of market failure addressed above and on figure 1 that strengthens the functioning and safety of markets (move to blue dotted line, see fig 1). This cannot be done without trade-offs as the industry shifts further toward the perfectly competitive market (PCM) end of the market spectrum (see figure 1). However the economic health of the nation is the most critical component to our national security. As such the USG should increase economic efficiency by mitigating deadweight loss to the consumer and also have a positive effect on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Specific action the USG should take should be to increase transparency between buyers and sellers as well as within the industry itself. The past lessons from the fiscal crisis clearly indicate that one of the key drivers to systemic risk was lack of transparency leading to asymmetric information mismatch in favor of the industry and firms within it. Additionally, there is evidence that many segments and actors within the industry itself began to unwittingly assume a level of risk that even they did not fully understand – in part due to lack…