Writing in the 1990s, economists could credibly buttonhole ‘financial intermediaries’ into simple categories: banks, pension funds, insurance companies and ‘other’, where ‘other’ included hedge funds, venture capitalists and a few other specialised money management services.
Today, any categorisation of the ‘other’ column quickly runs into ‘angels on the head of a pin’ territory. Everything from derivative traders to vulture funds to exotic investments like sovereign debt of defunct countries...
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