Usage & meaning of “would”

I have read a lot of textbooks on finance. A lot of sentences include “would”, but I have difficultly understanding the intended meaning of them. The word “would” does not appear to express presumption or expectation or hypothecation or habitual action in the past.

Could you please help me to clarify this in these examples:

  1. Authorize.net would be a competitor to our services. We do include some cascade options for other processors such as Epoch, but we do not support any other payment gateways.

  2. Activities that generate fees, such as most investment banking activities, are straightforward. Accrual accounting rules similar to those that would be used by any other business apply.

  3. CAT bonds typically give a high probability of an above-normal rate of interest
    and a low-probability of a high loss. Why would investors be interested in such
    instruments?

  4. Consider two bonds that have the same coupon, time to maturity and price.
    One is a B-rated corporate bond. The other is a CAT bond. An analysis based
    on historical data shows that the expected losses on the two bonds in each year
    of their life is the same. Which bond would you advise a portfolio manager to
    buy and why?

  5. Advocates of hedge funds would argue that hedge fund managers search for profitable opportunities that other investors do not have the resources or expertise to find. They would point out that the top hedge fund managers have been very successful at finding these opportunities.

  6. The simplest type of trade is the purchase of an asset for cash or the sale of an asset
    that is owned for cash. Examples of such trades are:

    1. The purchase of 100 IBM shares
    2. The sale of 1 million British pounds for dollars
    3. The purchase of 1,000 ounces of gold
    4. The sale of $1 million worth of bonds issued by General Motors

    The first of these trades would typically be done on an exchange; the other three
    would be done in the over-the-counter market. The trades are sometimes referred
    to as spot trades because they lead to almost immediate (on the spot) delivery of
    the asset.

Answer

User StoneyB has provided you an answer with good advice that can be applied generally across situations you may encounter in the future. I recommend you accept that one.

I just thought it might be helpful to take you through each of your examples and attempt an explanation for each on its own, and doing so would be nearly impossible with comments.

  1. Authorize.net would be a competitor to our services. We do include
    some cascade options for other processors such as Epoch, but we do
    not support any other payment gateways.

    • The author is counting on you to know that benefitting a competitor is bad business to explain not choosing to support interface with Authorize.net. The sentence has the intended sense if you substitute “bad choice of partner” for “competitor to our services.”
  2. Activities that generate fees, such as most investment banking activities, are
    straightforward. Accrual accounting rules similar to those that
    would be used by any other business apply.

    • This is basically saying that one can apply the same (accrual accounting) rules (to fee-generating investment banking activities) that could hypothetically be applied to other businesses (who are accruing funds in any number of different ways).
  3. CAT bonds typically give
    a high probability of an above-normal rate of interest and a
    low-probability of a high loss. Why would investors be interested in
    such instruments?

    • Read as “Why would investors (in choosing among several hypothetically viable options) be interested in CAT bonds?”
  4. Consider two bonds that have the same coupon, time
    to maturity and price. One is a B-rated corporate bond. The other is
    a CAT bond. An analysis based on historical data shows that the
    expected losses on the two bonds in each year of their life is the
    same. Which bond would you advise a portfolio manager to buy and
    why?

    • Here we have a thought experiment. You are instructed to consider a certain situation, and then make a choice based on the given (hypothetical) context.
  5. Advocates of hedge funds would argue that hedge fund managers
    search for profitable opportunities that other investors do not have
    the resources or expertise to find. They would point out that the
    top hedge fund managers have been very successful at finding these
    opportunities.

    • Based on the source, the author is saying “Presented with the arguments (detractions) above, someone (a hypothetical person) who disagrees (is instead advocating for hedge funds) would probably present [these counterarguments].”
  6. The simplest type of trade is the purchase of an
    asset for cash or the sale of an asset that is owned for cash.
    Examples of such trades are:

    [list omitted]

    The first of these
    trades would typically be done on an exchange; the other three would
    be done in the over-the-counter market. The trades are sometimes
    referred to as spot trades because they lead to almost immediate (on
    the spot) delivery of the asset.

    • Each item listed is a hypothetical. It does not represent historical fact. Instead, they each give an idea of a different class of situation. Different players, commodities, currencies, etc. The difference the author wants to highlight is that the sort of situation described in first hypothetical is typically conducted one way, the rest in another.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Kinzle B , Answer Author : Tyler James Young

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