The reverse seems to hold true for the Philippines though. Commercial and universal banks have dominated, and continue to dominate the financial scene. Philippine investment houses were only established in the early 1970s. These may have been patterned after US investment banks, but in terms of financial muscle and depth of product line, investment houses lag behind their global counterparts. Investment houses are also less known by Filipino investors and the public at large. Philippine investment houses came into being under favorable business conditions, although membership in the local association was only a handful. As the regulatory and economic environments improved, investment houses began to take on a more definitive role in resource mobilization, technical innovation and capital market development. The tumultuous 80’s was another story. There were fewer players, reflecting the crisis-stricken mood of the economic times. There was contraction in the economy, all-time high inflation, high unemployment and interest rates, and other macroeconomic imbalances. The downturn was precipitated by the Aquino assassination in 1983, prolonged by the EDSA People Power in 1986 and coupled by the transition period that followed. Of course, the fees would be smaller and the financial advisory function would be out of reach. If the investment house still could not carry out this function, it stays clear of IPOs and similar offerings, and instead targets those involving only best-efforts underwriting. Underwriting, in this sense, is restricted to what the investment house can re-sell to its clientele. This kind of arrangement is prevalent in the flotation of corporate bonds, more commonly known as short- and long-term commercial papers. The distribution function is an area reserved for the local brokerage houses. Investment houses undertake the primary selling of underwritten securities. However, they rarely complement this with market-making activities. Perhaps its role in our financial system has not been fully realized by the public at large.