Who's Who?

The Financial Services Industry exists to connect those who have got money with those who want it - to connect the savers to the spenders.

...... i.e to connect those who have money to those who want it. No-one can take other people's money just to spend (except governments, of course). You can only take money if you put it to work to earn enough to reward the donor. To do that you need to be a wealth-creator.

Wealth-creators are one end of the investment chain. They use resources (people, materials, money) to create more wealth than they have consumed. Typically (but by no means exclusively) these are corporations (or companies). Like Glaxo or Shell or, in the US, Walmart or Apple.

At the other end of the chain are savers. Irritatingly the preferred name for 'savers' in the UK is 'consumers', when 'consumption' is the opposite of what they do.

The players

A cast of thousands make their living out of this money chain. These players can be divided into owners, directors, providers, markets, feeders, advisers and regulators.

'Owners' means shareholders. We take the lid off public corporate ownership.

What drives Directors, and why do they earn so much?

Fund management groups and insurance companies (at least in some of their guises) are Providers.

Markets are the essential grease to the wheels, and Stock Markets and Futures Markets are the most important.

Brokers, investment bankers, stock analysts, journalists and investor relations advisers are Feeders.

IFAs and Advisers are also feeders, but deserve their own pages.

Regulators are critical. The most important for us is the Financial Conduct Authority, responsible to the Treasury, where all power ultimately lies.

The dividing lines between categories can be vague - particularly between feeders and providers. And many players play more than one part. But the one thing they have in common is that they are paid out of the money chain that runs from the wealth-creator to the saver. The Fixed Sum Game