8 Pages

Financial Guides Information Sources


Special librarians strive not only to gather together the literature of their respective fields, but also to develop and strengthen sources of information. Banks and financial institutions depend upon corpo­ rate financial information as their main sources for making deci­ sions. In addition, modem bankers and financial analysts must keep up-to-date with economic, technological, political and international developments. Until the end of World War II the banking and financial world

was a relatively small one. Business was done almost informally among a group of people well known to each other. Information was transmitted orally and news was passed along quickly through the close-knit community known as "The Street". Control of the literature of the information sources was adequate

to the need-in fact few financial houses had libraries. such services as Moody's, Standard and Poor's, (and its prior companies Standard Statistics and Poor's), Polk's, Dun and Bradstreet, and Rand Mc­ Nally, provided almost all the reference tools and services that were required. In the larger banks and financial houses libraries main­ tained a core collection of basic bibliographic tools, indexes, di­ rectories, and large files of corporate reports. These were sup­ plemented with a small collection of books on corporate finance, economics and current affairs. The periodical literature was also relatively limited. The financial world has become increasingly complex in the past

thirty-five years. As the country grew more affluent, the stock ex­ changes attracted a larger group of investors. United States in­ vestments abroad also increased substantially. The money market, once an exotic use of funds by financial institutions and a few very

rich individuals, began to attract people from all walks of life. Such instruments as foreign exchange, Eurocurrencies, Treasury issues, certificates of deposit, and money market funds, lured the investor with their high interest rates. More recently trading in the futures and options market, induding the new trading in interest rate futures, has appealed to those with risk capital. All these develop­ ments have made the financial world highly competitive and far­ flung. Singapore, Hong-Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Zurich, and beyond are the investors' trading ground. In the corporate world diversification and innova­ tion has resulted in the formation of new companies, mergers, and acquisitions. The banking world has seen the growth of the bank holding com­

pany and radical changes in the banking structure as the result of re­ cent monetary and banking legislation. As the pace of business has increased so has the need for information. The control and dissem­ ination of information has become more and more complex. To meet the increased demand, publishers are rushing in to offer a variety of services to fill this or that information gap. They range from expanding existing services, to additional directories and handbooks in hard copy, microform, and on-line data banks. To its Million Dollar Directory, Dun and Bradstreet has added the Billion Dollar Directory, and other directories. Responding to the post-war phenomenon of multinational corporations, D&B has also issued Principal International Business which lists approximately 51,000 leading companies in 135 countries, arranged alphabetically by country, and gives for each the chief offices, line of business, and approximate sales. The familiar Moody's manuals have been aug­ mented by Moody's International Manual. International banking has grown dramatically since 1960 and Polk's Bank Directory has long been Polk's World Bank Directory, and beginning in 1976 has pub­ lished an annual international edition. Added to these are newer publications such as the EuromarketDirectory (Euromoney Publica­ tions Limited, 2 ed. 1983-84) designed for the Euromarket partici­ pant, it lists over 2000 borrowing organizations and 1000 of the world's most active banks. Banker's Handbook of Asia, 1982-83 Guide to Banks and Finance Companies in Asia, plus 22 Countries of Iran/Arab Region, (Asian Finance Publications). The accounting firm of Peat, Marwick has published a series of booklets, Banking in . . . which give a quick overview of regulations governing the banking business of each country treated.