Corporate finance aims to provide the maximum financial benefit for the shareholders of a business or industry which is privately owned. Corporate finance involves both long and short term decisions being made, which will benefit shareholders whilst also allowing the business itself to remain stable. Investments of money into new products, research and development, and marketing are all examples of long term decisions, which will benefit the company in the long term.
On the other hand, short term decisions may involve managing the current flow of cash - ensuring that income and output are at least balanced, and monitoring the company's spending in order to make changes via long term decisions in the future. Investment banking is also associated with corporate finance. Investment banking is when a company's finances, their income and their expenditure, are assessed in order to make them more efficient and profitable. Investment banking can help companies to expand and grow. Overall, the world of corporate finance is highly competitive and involves very large amounts of money - thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
On the other hand, public finance is the area of the economy in which the government aims to supplement and aid the economy. If market failure occurs, when the private sector fails to provide sufficient goods or capital, then the government will become involved via public finance in order to rectify any wrongs or deficiencies in the economy as a result. Taxes and a country's balance of payments deficit or surplus are all connected with public finance.