Portal:Business and economics

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The Business and economics Portal

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The New York Stock Exchange floor
In the social sciences, economics is the study of human choice behavior and the methodology used to make associated investment and production decisions; in particular, though not limited to, how those choices and decisions determine the allocation of scarce resources and their effect on production, distribution, and consumption. The word "economics" is from the Greek words οἶκος [oikos], meaning "family, household, estate", and νόμος [nomos], or "custom, law", and hence literally means "household management" or "management of the state". An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject. Economics undergraduate courses always cover at least the two main branches:
  • Microeconomics studies the behavior of individual households and firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. Microeconomics applies to markets where goods or services are bought and sold. It examines how decisions and behaviors affect the supply and demand for goods and services, which determines prices, and how prices, in turn, determine the quantity supplied and quantity demanded of goods and services.
  • Macroeconomics deals with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets. This includes national, regional, and global economies.

However, there are also others sub-field of economics (see JEL classification codes).

In economics, economic systems is the study and analysis of organizing production, distribution, consumption and investment and the study of optimal resource allocation and institutional design. Traditionally the study of economic systems was based on a dichotomy between market economies and planned economies, but contemporary studies compare and contrast a number of different variables, such as ownership structure (Public, Private or Collective), economic coordination (planning, markets or mixed), management structure (Hierarchy versus adhocracy), the incentive system, and the level of centralization in decision-making. A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange of other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. Management in business and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Management is also an academic discipline, and is traditionally taught at business schools. An economy can be analyzed in terms of its economic sectors, the classic breakdown being into primary, secondary and tertiary. Economic policy refers to the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and government budget as well as the labor market regulations, national ownership, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, anti-trust policy and industrial policy. In economics, sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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Tulipomania.jpg

Tulip mania or tulipomania (Dutch names include: tulpenmanie, tulpomanie, tulpenwoede, tulpengekte and bollengekte) was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.

At the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble), although some researchers have noted that the Kipper- und Wipperzeit episode in 1619–22, a Europe-wide chain of debasement of the metal content of coins to fund warfare, featured mania-like similarities to a bubble. The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values).

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Pirates attacked a merchant ship
Photo credit: Caciss

Seaborne piracy has been affecting trade since 13th century BC. Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue, with estimated worldwide losses of US $13 to $16 billion per year

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US county household median income 2009.png

The United States of America is the world's largest single national economy. The United States' nominal GDP was estimated to be $17.295 trillion as of Q2 2014, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP. Its GDP at purchasing power parity is also the largest of any single country in the world, approximately a fifth of the global total. The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Its six largest trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, and Italy.

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"There are rumors that the Austrian army is obliged to retire a little; that the Spanish squadron is gone to South America; that the English have excited a rebellion there; and some others equally unauthenticated. I do not mention them in my letter to Mr.Jay, because they are unauthenticated. The bankruptcies in London have re-commenced with new force. There is no saying where this fire will end, perhaps in the conflagration of all their paper. If not now, it must erelong. With only twenty millions of coin, and three or four hundred millions of circulating paper, public and private, nothing is necessary but a general panic, produced either by failures, invasion, or any other cause, and the whole visionary fabric vanishes into air, and shows that paper is poverty, that it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself. One hundred years ago, they had twenty odd millions of coin. Since that they brought in from Holland by borrowing forty millions more, yet they have but twenty millions left, and they talk of being rich, and having the balance of trade in favor."

Thomas Jefferson, To Colonel Carrington, 1788
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Market indices

Data taken from Yahoo! Finance as of 19:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Index (USA) Last Change
NYSE (USA)
10796.03
Green Arrow Up.svg 10796.03
NASDAQ (USA)
4464.927
Green Arrow Up.svg 11.92
S&P 500 (USA)
1955.06
Red Arrow Down.svg 0.12
AMEX (USA)
2714.257
Green Arrow Up.svg 2714.26
Index (World) Last Change
iBovespa (Brazil)
56963.648
Green Arrow Up.svg 1183.24
CAC 40 (France)
4174.36
Red Arrow Down.svg 31.07
DAX (Germany)
9092.60
Red Arrow Down.svg 132.50
Hang Seng (HK)
24954.939
Green Arrow Up.svg 153.58
Nikkei 225 (Japan)
15318.34
Green Arrow Up.svg 3.77
IPC (Mexico)
44629.328
0.00
FTSE (UK)
6689.08
0.00

On this day in Business history...

August 29:

  • 1876 - Charles F. Kettering, an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents, was born on this day.

Did you know...

  • ...that Valrhona, a company based in the small town of Tain l'Hermitage in the Rhône Valley in France, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality chocolate?
  • ... that the GDP deflator (implicit price deflator for GDP) is a price index measuring changes in prices of all new, domestically produced, final goods and services in an economy.
  • ... that Hollywood accounting is the practice of distributing the profit earned by a large project to corporate entities which, though distinct from the one responsible for the project itself, are typically owned by the same people, with the net result of reducing the project's profit by a substantial margin, sometimes even eliminating it altogether.

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