Germany, Japan and the United States are the world's three largest economies. Despite their common economic success, companies in these three countries operate within rather unique financial systems. Germany's financial system is characterized by weak corporate stock and bond markets, strong universal banks, and high levels of ownership concentration. Keiretsu organizations - large corporate networks - are the centre of Japan's financial system. The U.S. system is dominated by strong capital market forces. These differences raise various questions. Why did financial keiretsu develop in Japan, but not in Germany and the United States? Why is bank intermediation more dominant in Germany and Japan than in the United States? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system? This study answers these and related questions. It explains capital market intermediation, holding companies, multidivisional organizations, financial keiretsu, and LBO associations as organizational reponses to capital market inefficiencies. Country-specific responses are described as a consequence of country-specific financial regulations.
Each regulatory regime results in specific capital market inefficiencies. The book contains a comprehensive description of German, Japanese, and U.S. regulations. Comparative capital market and corporate data highlight the major strengths and weaknesses of each system.