1. Ultimately, it is true that real assets determine the material well being of an economy. Nevertheless, individuals can benefit when financial engineering creates new products that allow them to manage their portfolios of financial assets more efficiently. Because bundling and unbundling creates financial products with new properties and sensitivities to various sources of risk, it allows investors to hedge particular sources of risk more efficiently. Even if the firm does not need to issue stock in any particular year, the stock market is still important to the financial manager. The stock price provides important information about how the market values the firm's investment projects. For example, if the stock price rises considerably, managers might conclude that the market believes the firm's future prospects are bright. This might be a useful signal to the firm to proceed with an investment such as an expansion of the firm's business. In addition, the fact that shares can be traded in the secondary market makes the shares more attractive to investors since investors know that, when they wish to, they will be able to sell their shares. This in turn makes investors more willing to buy shares in a primary offering, and thus improves the terms on which firms can raise money in the equity market.
The bank loan is a financial liability for Lanni. (Lanni's IOU is the bank's financial asset.) The cash Lanni receives is a financial asset. The new financial asset created is Lanni's promissory note (that is, Lanni’s IOU to the bank). Lanni transfers financial assets (cash) to the software developers. In return, Lanni gets a real asset, the completed software. No financial assets are created or destroyed; cash is simply transferred from one party to another. Lanni gives the real asset (the software) to Microsoft in exchange for a financial asset, 1,500 shares of Microsoft stock. If Microsoft issues new shares...