Financial Markets and the Economy

Read this chapter to build a foundation for understanding financial markets. The first section discusses the bonds and foreign exchange markets and the way they are connected through the interest rate. The second section builds the model of the money market and connects it to the other financial markets. Pay attention to how the connection is made between the financial markets and the overall economy by showing the effects on the equilibrium real GDP and the price level, using the model of aggregate demand and supply.


We began this chapter by looking at bond and foreign exchange markets and showing how each is related to the level of real GDP and the price level. Bonds represent the obligation of the seller to repay the buyer the face value by the maturity date; their interest rate is determined by the demand and supply for bonds. An increase in bond prices means a drop in interest rates. A reduction in bond prices means interest rates have risen. The price of the dollar is determined in foreign exchange markets by the demand and supply for dollars.

We then saw how the money market works. The quantity of money demanded varies negatively with the interest rate. Factors that cause the demand curve for money to shift include changes in real GDP, the price level, expectations, the cost of transferring funds between money and nonmoney accounts, and preferences, especially preferences concerning risk. Equilibrium in the market for money is achieved at the interest rate at which the quantity of money demanded equals the quantity of money supplied. We assumed that the supply of money is determined by the Fed. An increase in money demand raises the equilibrium interest rate, and a decrease in money demand lowers the equilibrium interest rate. An increase in the money supply lowers the equilibrium interest rate; a reduction in the money supply raises the equilibrium interest rate.