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DISINTERMEDIATION: A general deterioration in the profitability of a bank because it pays high interest rates on short-term borrowing, but earns relatively low interest rates on long-term lending. This was a big, BIG problem for savings and loans (S&Ls) during the 1970s and ultimately caused many of them to fail in the 1980s. S&Ls were designed (by law) to make long-term (30-year) home loans to consumers, but to get the funds for these loans using standard savings accounts. When inflation and interest rates shot up in the 1970s, S&Ls found it necessary to pay savers higher rates to get the funds. But, they still had a bunch of home loans--with low interest rates--that were 15, 20, or 25 years from being repaid. For several years, S&Ls received 6 percent on many of their loans, but paid out something like 12 percent. This gradually eroded their profitability until many were forced to close their doors.

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DEMAND CURVE

A graphical representation of the relation between the demand price and quantity demanded, holding all ceteris paribus demand determinants constant. A demand curve graphically illustrates the law of demand, the inverse relation between demand price and quantity demanded for a particular good. It is one half of the standard market model; a supply curve is the other half.

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