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The Business and Economics Portal

The time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. This chart is from 2017 statistics.
Fish for sale in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a price tag of 395 Bangladeshi taka per kilogram.

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company, such as a corporation or cooperative. (Full article...)

Economics (/ˌɛkəˈnɒmɪks, ˌkə-/) is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics is a field which analyzes what's viewed as basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system where production, consumption, saving, and investment interact, and factors affecting it: employment of the resources of labour, capital, and land, currency inflation, economic growth, and public policies that have impact on these elements. (Full article...)

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Microsoft sign at headquarters in Redmond, Washington

Microsoft Corporation, or often just MS, is an American multinational computer technology corporation with 79,000 employees in 102 countries and global annual revenue of US $51.12 billion as of 2007. It develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its best selling products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. These products have prominent positions in the desktop computer market, with market share estimates as high as 90% or more as of 2003 for Microsoft Office and 2006 for Microsoft Windows, in line with Bill Gates's vision "to get a workstation running our software onto every desk and eventually in every home".

Founded to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s. The company released an initial public offering (IPO) in the stock market, which, due to the ensuing rise of the stock price, has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees. Throughout its history the company has been the target of criticism for various reasons, including monopolistic business practices—both the U.S. Justice Department and the European Commission, among others, brought Microsoft to court for antitrust violations and software bundling.

Microsoft has footholds in other markets besides operating systems and office suites, with assets such as the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets both computer hardware products such as the Microsoft mouse and home entertainment products such as the Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune and MSN TV. Known for what is generally described as a developer-centric business culture, Microsoft has historically given customer support over Usenet newsgroups and the World Wide Web, and awards Microsoft MVP status to volunteers who are deemed helpful in assisting the company's customers.

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John D. Rockefeller as an industrial emperor, 1901 cartoon from Puck magazine.
Photo credit: Dontworry

John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist and philanthropist and founder of Standard Oil. This cartoon from Puck magazine satirizes Rockefeller as an industrial emperor.

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Denmark exports treemap, 2019

The economy of Denmark is a modern mixed economy with comfortable living standards, a high level of government services and transfers, and a high dependence on foreign trade. The economy is dominated by the service sector with 80% of all jobs, whereas about 11% of all employees work in manufacturing and 2% in agriculture. The nominal gross national income per capita was the seventh-highest in the world at $58,439 in 2020. Correcting for purchasing power, per capita income was Int$57,781 or 10th-highest globally. The Income distribution is relatively equal, but inequality has somewhat increased during the last decades. This increase was attributed to both a larger spread in gross incomes and various economic policy measures. In 2017, Denmark had the seventh-lowest Gini coefficient (a measure of economic inequality) of the then 28 European Union countries. With 5,892,871 inhabitants (1 May 2022), Denmark has the 36th largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the 51st largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

As a small open economy, Denmark generally advocates a liberal trade policy, and its exports as well as imports make up circa 50% of GDP. Since 1990 Denmark has consistently had a current account surplus, with the sole exception of 1998. As a consequence, the country has become a considerable creditor nation, having acquired a net international investment position amounting to 65% of GDP in 2018. A decisive reason for this are the widespread compulsory funded labour market pensions schemes. The schemes have caused a considerable increase in private savings rates, and today play an important role for the economy. (Full article...)

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"When the Aldrich-Vreeland Emergency Currency Bill was sprung on the House in its finished draft and ready for action to be taken, the debate was limited to three hours and Banker Vreeland placed in charge. It took so long for copies of the bill to be gotten that many members were unable to secure I copy until within a few minutes of the time to vote. No member who wished to present the people's side of the case was given sufficient time to enable him to properly analyze the bill. I asked for time and was told that if would vote for the bill it would be given to me, but not otherwise. Others were treated in the same way.

Accordingly, on June 30th, 1908, the Money Trust won the first fight and the Aldrich-Vreeland Emergency Law was placed on the statute books. Thus the first precedent was established for the people's guarantee of the rich man’s watered securities, by making them a basis on which to issue currency. It was the entering wedge. We had already guaranteed the rich men's money, and now, by this act, the way was opened, and it was intended that we should guarantee their watered stocks and bonds. Of course, they were too keen to attempt to complete, in a single act, such an enormous steal as it world have been if they had included all they hoped ultimately to secure. They knew that they would be caught at it if they did, and so it was planned that the whole thing should be done by a succession of acts. The first three have taken place.

Act No. 1 was the manufacture, between 1896 and 1907, through stock gambling, speculation and other devious methods and devices, of tens of billions of watered stocks, bonds, and securities.

Act No. 2 was the panic of 1907, by which those not favorable to the Money Trust could be squeezed out of business and the people frightened, into demanding changes in the banking and currency laws which the Money Trust would frame.

Act No. 3 was the passage of the Aldrich-Vreeland Emergency Currency Bill, by which the Money Trust interests should have the privilege of securing from the Government currency on their watered bonds and securities. But while the act contained no authority to change the form of the bank notes, the U. S. Treasurer (in some way that I have been unable to find a reason for) implied authority and changed the form of bank notes which were issued for the banks on government bonds. These notes had hitherto had printed on them, “This note is secured by bonds of the United States.” He changed it to read as follows: “This note is secured by bonds of the United States or other securities.” “Or other securities” is the addition that was secured by the special interests. The infinite care the Money Trust exercises in regard to important detail work is easily seen in this piece of management. By that change it was enabled to have the form of the money issued in its favor on watered bonds and securities, the same as bank notes secured on government bonds, and, as a result the people do not know whether they get one or the other. None of the $500,000,000 printed and lying in the U. S. Treasury ready to float on watered bonds and securities has yet (April, 1913) been used. But it is there, maintained at a public charge, as a guarantee to the Money Trust that it may use it in case it crowds speculation beyond the point of its control. The banks may take it to prevent their own failures, but there is not even so much as a suggestion that it may be used to help keep the industries of the people in a state of prosperity"

Charles August Lindbergh, Banking and Currency and the Money Trust, 1913

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On this day in business history

August 18:

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William McChesney Martin, Jr.
  • ...that, according to historical legend, Laissez-faire stems from a meeting in about 1681 between the powerful French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen led by a certain M. Le Gendre?
  • ...that Antoine Augustin Cournot derived the first formula for the rule of supply and demand as a function of price and in fact was the first to draw supply and demand curves on a graph in his Researches on the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth?
  • ...that the Toyota Production System (TPS) developed by Toyota, that comprises its management philosophy and practices, organizes manufacturing and logistics for the automobile manufacturer, including interaction with suppliers and customers?

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