Money market | economics | Britannica

Money market, a set of institutions, conventions, and practices, the aim of which is to facilitate the lending and borrowing of money on a short-term basis. The money market is, therefore, different from the capital market, which is concerned with medium- and long-term credit. The definition of money for money market purposes is not confined to bank notes but includes a range of assets that can be turned into cash at short notice, such as short-term government securities, bills of exchange, and bankers’ acceptances.

Every country with a monetary system of its own has to have some kind of market in which dealers in short-term credit can buy and sell. The need for such facilities arises in much the same way that a similar need does in connection with the distribution of any of the products of a diversified economy to their final users at the retail level. If

Read More

Microcomputer | Britannica

Microcomputer, an electronic device with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU). Microcomputer was formerly a commonly used term for personal computers, particularly any of a class of small digital computers whose CPU is contained on a single integrated semiconductor chip. Thus, a microcomputer uses a single microprocessor for its CPU, which performs all logic and arithmetic operations. The system also contains a number of associated semiconductor chips that serve as the main memory for storing program instructions and data and as interfaces for exchanging data of this sort with peripheral equipment—namely, input/output devices (e.g., keyboard, video display, and printer) and auxiliary storage units. Smaller microcomputers first marketed in the 1970s contain a single chip on which all CPU, memory, and interface circuits are integrated.


Read More on This Topic

computer: The microcomputer

Though the young engineering executives at Intel could sense the ground shifting upon the introduction

Read More

Personal computer | technology | Britannica

Personal computer (PC), a digital computer designed for use by only one person at a time. A typical personal computer assemblage consists of a central processing unit (CPU), which contains the computer’s arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry on an integrated circuit; two types of computer memory, main memory, such as digital random-access memory (RAM), and auxiliary memory, such as magnetic hard disks and special optical compact discs, or read-only memory (ROM) discs (CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs); and various input/output devices, including a display screen, keyboard and mouse, modem, and printer. See also computer: History of computing.

From hobby computers to Apple

Computers small and inexpensive enough to be purchased by individuals for use in their homes first became feasible in the 1970s, when large-scale integration made it possible to construct a sufficiently powerful microprocessor on a single semiconductor chip. A

Read More

Insurance | Britannica

Insurance, a system under which the insurer, for a consideration usually agreed upon in advance, promises to reimburse the insured or to render services to the insured in the event that certain accidental occurrences result in losses during a given period. It thus is a method of coping with risk. Its primary function is to substitute certainty for uncertainty as regards the economic cost of loss-producing events.

Insurance relies heavily on the “law of large numbers.” In large homogeneous populations it is possible to estimate the normal frequency of common events such as deaths and accidents. Losses can be predicted with reasonable accuracy, and this accuracy increases as the size of the group expands. From a theoretical standpoint, it is possible to eliminate all pure risk if an infinitely large group is selected.

From the standpoint of the insurer, an insurable risk must meet the following requirements:


Read More

Marketing | business | Britannica

Marketing, the sum of activities involved in directing the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.

Marketing’s principal function is to promote and facilitate exchange. Through marketing, individuals and groups obtain what they need and want by exchanging products and services with other parties. Such a process can occur only when there are at least two parties, each of whom has something to offer. In addition, exchange cannot occur unless the parties are able to communicate about and to deliver what they offer. Marketing is not a coercive process: all parties must be free to accept or reject what others are offering. So defined, marketing is distinguished from other modes of obtaining desired goods, such as through self-production, begging, theft, or force.

Marketing is not confined to any particular type of economy, because goods must be exchanged and therefore marketed in all economies and societies except perhaps

Read More

Real and personal property | Britannica

Real and personal property, a basic division of property in English common law, roughly corresponding to the division between immovables and movables in civil law. At common law most interests in land and fixtures (such as permanent buildings) were classified as real-property interests. Leasehold interests in land, however, together with interests in tangible movables (e.g., goods, animals, or merchandise) and interests in intangibles (e.g., stocks, bonds, or bank accounts) were classified as personal-property interests, if they were classified as property at all. Personal property, also known as “chattels,” could be further subdivided into chattels personal (interests in tangible movables and in intangibles) and chattels real (personal property interests in land, of which leaseholds were the most important). Chattels personal could be further subdivided into choses in possession (interests in tangible movables, including animals, merchandise, and goods) and choses in action (interests in intangibles, including promissory notes and rights of

Read More

Business organization | Britannica

Business organization, an entity formed for the purpose of carrying on commercial enterprise. Such an organization is predicated on systems of law governing contract and exchange, property rights, and incorporation.

Business enterprises customarily take one of three forms: individual proprietorships, partnerships, or limited-liability companies (or corporations). In the first form, a single person holds the entire operation as his personal property, usually managing it on a day-to-day basis. Most businesses are of this type. The second form, the partnership, may have from 2 to 50 or more members, as in the case of large law and accounting firms, brokerage houses, and advertising agencies. This form of business is owned by the partners themselves; they may receive varying shares of the profits depending on their investment or contribution. Whenever a member leaves or a new member is added, the firm must be reconstituted as a new partnership. The third form,

Read More

Finance | economics | Britannica

Finance, the process of raising funds or capital for any kind of expenditure. Consumers, business firms, and governments often do not have the funds available to make expenditures, pay their debts, or complete other transactions and must borrow or sell equity to obtain the money they need to conduct their operations. Savers and investors, on the other hand, accumulate funds which could earn interest or dividends if put to productive use. These savings may accumulate in the form of savings deposits, savings and loan shares, or pension and insurance claims; when loaned out at interest or invested in equity shares, they provide a source of investment funds. Finance is the process of channeling these funds in the form of credit, loans, or invested capital to those economic entities that most need them or can put them to the most productive use. The institutions that channel funds from savers to

Read More