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Topic Pages - Terms and Concepts
Term that actually refers to two concepts: the abstract unit of account in terms of which the value of goods, services, and obligations can be compared; and anything that is widely established as a means of payment.
Organized market for the trading of stocks and bonds (see bond; stock).
Organized traders' exchange in which standardized, graded products are bought and sold. Worldwide, there are 48 major commodity exchanges that trade over 96 commodities, ranging from wheat and cotton to silver and oil.
In law, organization enjoying legal personality for the purpose of carrying on certain activities. Most corporations are businesses for profit; they are usually organized by three or more subscribers who raise capital for the corporate activities by selling shares of stock, which represent ownership and are transferable.
Financial institution designed to regulate and control the money supply of a nation, with the goal of fostering economic growth without inflation. Although central banking systems have varying levels of autonomy, there is generally a significant level of government control.
Charge for the use of credit or money, usually figured as a percentage of the principal and computed annually.
In finance, usually a formal certificate of indebtedness issued in writing by governments or business corporations in return for loans. It bears interest and promises to pay a certain sum of money to the holder after a definite period, usually 10 to 20 years.
Something that is owed by a person, organization, or country, usually money, goods, or services. Debt usually occurs as a result of borrowing credit.
In law, an obligation of one party to another, usually to compensate financially.
In law, settlement of the liabilities of a person or organization wholly or partially unable to meet financial obligations.
savings and loan association
Type of financial institution that was originally created to accept savings from private investors and to provide home mortgage services for the public.
Traffic in goods. Conducted by gift, barter, or sale, trade is one of the most widespread of all social institutions.
Organization of workers that exists to promote and defend the interests of its members, to achieve improved working conditions, and to undertake collective bargaining (negotiating on behalf of its members) with employers.
Legislation dealing with human beings in their capacity as workers or wage earners.
Assessment levied upon individual or corporate incomes.
Granting of goods, services, or money in return for a promise of future payment. Most credit is accompanied by an interest charge, which usually makes the future payment greater than an immediate payment would have been. The credit system is founded upon the lender's confidence in the borrower or in his collateral and general possessions.
In law, a promise, enforceable by law, to perform or to refrain from performing some specified act. In a general sense, all civil obligations fall under tort or contract law.
Right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary, artistic, and musical productions whereby for a limited period of time he or she controls the use of the product.
In law, governmental grant of some privilege, property, or authority. Today patent refers to the granting to the inventor of a useful product or process the privilege to exclude others from making that invention.
Activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment.
Commerce conducted over the Internet, most often via the World Wide Web. E-commerce can apply to purchases made through the Web or to business-to-business activities such as inventory transfers.
Prohibition by a country of the departure of ships or certain types of goods from its ports.
National or international organization of manufacturers or traders allied by agreement to fix prices, limit supply, divide markets, or to fix quotas for sales, manufacture, or division of profits among the member firms.
Tax on imported and, more rarely, exported goods. It is also called a customs duty.
Topic Pages - Institutions
Federal Reserve System
Central banking system of the United States. Established in 1913, it began to operate in Nov., 1914. Its setup, although somewhat altered since its establishment, particularly by the Banking Act of 1935, has remained substantially the same.
International Monetary Fund
(IMF), specialized agency of the United Nations, established in 1945. The organization, using a fund subscribed by the member nations, purchases foreign currencies on application from its members so as to discharge international indebtedness and stabilize exchange rates.
World Trade Organization
Specialized, rules-based, member-driven agency of the United Nations, world trade monitoring body established in January 1995, on approval of the Final Act of the Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), multinational organization (est. 1960, formally constituted 1961) that coordinates petroleum policies and economic aid among oil-producing nations.
Bank of England
Central bank and note-issuing institution of Great Britain. Popularly known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, its main office stands on the street of that name in London.
Topic Pages - Related fields
Classification, analysis, and interpretation of the financial, or bookkeeping, records of an enterprise.
Primarily the business of dealing in money and instruments of credit. Banks were traditionally differentiated from other financial institutions by their principal functions of accepting deposits—subject to withdrawal or transfer by check—and of making loans.
In economics, that part of the process of production and exchange that is concerned with the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer. In popular usage it is defined as the distribution and sale of goods, distribution being understood in a broader sense than the technical economic one.
Any of various methods used by a company to increase the sales of its products or services or to promote a brand name.