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Finance is a term for matters regarding the management, creation, and study of money and investments. Specifically, it deals with the questions of how and why an individual, company or government acquires the money needed called capital in the company context and how they spend or invest that money. Finance is then often split into the following major categories: corporate finance, personal finance and public finance.
At the same time, and correspondingly, finance is about the overall "system"
i.e., the financial markets that allow the flow of money, via investments and other financial instruments, between and within these areas;
this "flow" is facilitated by the financial services sector. A major focus within finance is thus investment management called money management for individuals, and asset management for institutions and finance then includes the associated activities of securities trading and stock broking, investment banking, financial engineering, and risk management.
Given its wide scope, finance is studied in several academic disciplines, and, correspondingly, there are several related professional qualifications that can lead to the field.
Though its principles are much older, the field of finance's founding and progress coincides with the start and evolution of civilization at large. We see continuous reformation and innovation in Finance throughout history.
The earliest historical evidence is from the year 3000 BC We see that Banking originated in Babylonian empire where in Temples and palaces were used as safe places for the storage of valuables. Initially, the valuable that can be deposited was only grain, but later cattle and precious materials are also included. Almost during the same time period, in the Sumerian city Uruk in Mesopotamia trade was supported by lending. The usage of interest as well was found to be used. In Sumerian ?interest? was mas, which also meant calf. In Greece and Egypt the words used for interest (tokos and ms respectively) also meant ?to give birth?. In these cultures interest indicates an increase in something. They seem to consider it from lenders point of view.
During the Reign of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) in Babylon (the capital city of Babylonia). The famous Code of Hammurabi includes laws governing banking operations. The Babylonians, were accustomed to charge interest at the rate of 20 per cent per annum.
In the Biblical world point of view within the Jewish Civilisation (1500 BC), Jews were not allowed to take interest from other Jews, but they were allowed to take interest from the gentiles, as we see in the scriptures writings such as:
"If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him. (Exodus:20)
You shall not lend upon interest to your brother, interest on money, interest on victuals [foodstuff] interest on anything that is lent for interest. 20To a foreigner you may lend upon interest, but to your brother you shall not lend upon interest?? (Deu:23).
The reason for the non-prohibition of the receipt by a Jew of interest from a Gentile, and vice versa, is held by modern rabbis to lay in the fact that the Gentiles had at that time no law forbidding them to practice usury; and that as they took interest from Jews, the Torah considered it equitable that Jews should take interest from Gentiles. In Hebrew, interest is neshek.
In contrast to other ancient civilizations ?interest is considered from borrowers point of view.
By 1200 BC Cowrie shell is used as ?money? in China.
Abd by 640 BC, the Lydians started to use coin money. Lydia was the first place where permanent retail shops opened. (Herodotus mentions the use of crude coins in Lydia in an earlier date, i.e. 687 BC.)
600 BC: Pythius became identified as the first banker that had records. He was operating both in Western Anatolia and in Greece.
The arrival of coin usage as a means of representing money was represented in the years between (600-570 BC) (1) Chinese started to use coins made of base metal. The cities under the Greek empire such as Aegina (595 B.C.), Athens (575 B.C.) and Corinth (570 B.C.) started to mint their own coins.
Leading thinkers and statesmen, such as Marcus Pocius Cato Censorius [Cato the Elder] (234 BC-149 BC) and Marcus Pocius Cato Uicensis [Cato the Younger] (95 BC-46 BC) as well as Marcus Tallius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC), Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-AD 65) and Masterius Plutarch (46 AD-120 AD) were against usury. In Republican Rome (340 BC) interest was outlawed altogether (Lex Genucia reforms). Under the banner of Julius Caesar, a ceiling on interest rates of 12% was set, and later under Justinian, it was lowered even further to between 4% and 8%.
The core of finance in history was more focused on the banking system, the field of finance was narrow. It took almost 2500 years to develop a system of interest, mint coins, bring in theories of interest and inflation. 
As above, the financial system constitutes the flow of capital, between individuals (personal finance), governments (public finance), and businesses (corporate finance). Although they are closely related, the disciplines of economics and finance are distinct. The "economy" is a social institution that organizes a society's production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, all of which must be financed.
Generalizing, an entity whose income exceeds its expenditure can lend or invest the excess, intending to earn a fair return. Correspondingly, an entity where income is less than expenditure can raise capital usually in one of two ways: (i) by borrowing, in the form of a loan (private individuals), or by selling bonds (may be government bonds or corporate bonds); (ii) by a corporate selling equity, also called stock or shares (may take various forms: preferred stock or common stock). The owners of both bonds and stock may be institutional investors financial institutions such as investment banks and pension fund ? or private individuals, called private investors or retail investors.
The lending is often indirect, through a financial intermediary such as a bank, or via the purchase of notes or bonds (corporate bonds, government bonds, or mutual bonds) in the bond market. The lender receives interest, the borrower pays a higher interest than the lender receives, and the financial intermediary earns the difference for arranging the loan. A bank aggregates the activities of many borrowers and lenders. A bank accepts deposits from lenders, on which it pays interest. The bank then lends these deposits to borrowers. Banks allow borrowers and lenders, of different sizes, to coordinate their activity.
Investing typically entails the purchase of stock, either individual securities, or via a mutual fund for example. Stocks are usually sold by corporations to investors so as to raise required capital in the form of "equity financing", as distinct from the debt financing described above. The financial intermediaries here are the investment banks, which find the initial investors and facilitate the listing of the securities (equity and debt); and the securities exchanges, which allow their trade thereafter, as well as the various service providers which manage the performance or risk of these investments.
Personal finance is defined as "the mindful planning of monetary spending and saving, while also considering the possibility of future risk". Personal finance may involve paying for education, financing durable goods such as real estate and cars, buying insurance, e.g. health and property insurance, investing and saving for retirement. Personal finance may also involve paying for a loan, or debt obligations. The main areas of personal finance are considered to be income, spending, saving, investing, and protection. The following steps, as outlined by the Financial Planning Standards Board, suggest that an individual will understand a potentially secure personal finance plan after:
Corporate finance deals with the sources of funding and the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. Short term financial management is often termed "working capital management", and relates to cash-, inventory- and debtors management. In the longer term, corporate finance generally involves balancing risk and profitability, while attempting to maximize an entity's assets, net incoming cash flow and the value of its stock, and generically entails three primary areas of capital resource allocation: (i) "capital budgeting", selecting which projects to invest in; (ii) dividend policy, the use of "excess" capital; and (iii) "sources of capital", i.e. which funding is to be used. The latter creates the link with investment banking and securities trading, in that the capital raised will (generically) comprise debt, i.e. corporate bonds, and equity, often listed shares.
Although "corporate finance" is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms. Further, although financial management overlaps with the financial function of the accounting profession, financial accounting is the reporting of historical financial information, whereas as discussed, financial management is concerned with increasing the firm's Shareholder value and increasing their rate of return on the investment. Financial risk management, in this context, is about protecting the firm's economic value using financial instruments to manage exposure to risk, particularly credit risk and market risk, often arising from the firm's funding structures.
Public finance describes finance as related to sovereign states and sub-national entities (states/provinces, counties, municipalities, etc.) and related public entities (e.g. school districts) or agencies. It usually encompasses a long-term strategic perspective regarding investment decisions that affect public entities. These long-term strategic periods usually encompass five or more years. Public finance is primarily concerned with:
Central banks, such as the Federal Reserve System banks in the United States and Bank of England in the United Kingdom, are strong players in public finance, acting as lenders of last resort as well as strong influences on monetary and credit conditions in the economy.
Finance theory is studied and developed within the disciplines of management, (financial) economics, accountancy and applied mathematics. Abstractly, finance is concerned with the investment and deployment of assets and liabilities over "space and time": i.e. it is about performing valuation and asset allocation today, based on risk and uncertainty of future outcomes, incorporating the time value of money (determining the present value of these future values, "discounting", requires a risk-appropriate discount rate). Since the debate to whether finance is an art or a science is still open, there have been recent efforts to organize a list of unsolved problems in finance.
Financial economics is the branch of economics studying the interrelation of financial variables, such as prices, interest rates and shares, as opposed to goods and services. Financial economics concentrates on influences of real economic variables on financial ones, in contrast to pure finance. It centres on pricing and managing risk management in the financial markets, and thus produces many of the and financial models commonly employed.
The discipline essentially explores how rational investors would apply risk and return to the problem of investment. The twin assumptions of rationality and market efficiency lead to modern portfolio theory (the CAPM), and to the Black?Scholes theory for option valuation; it further studies phenomena and models where these assumptions do not hold, or are extended.
"Financial economics", also considers investment under "certainty" (Fisher separation theorem, "theory of investment value", Modigliani?Miller theorem) and hence also contributes to corporate finance theory. Financial econometrics is the branch of financial economics that uses econometric techniques to parameterize the relationships suggested.
Financial mathematics is a field of applied mathematics, concerned with financial markets. The subject has a close relationship with the discipline of financial economics, which is concerned with much of the underlying theory that is involved in financial mathematics. Generally, mathematical finance will derive, and extend, the mathematical or numerical models suggested by financial economics.
The field is largely focused on the modelling of derivatives, although other important subfields include insurance mathematics and quantitative portfolio problems. See Outline of finance#Mathematical tools and Outline of finance#Derivatives pricing.
In terms of practice, mathematical finance also overlaps heavily with the field of computational finance (also known as financial engineering). Arguably, these are largely synonymous, although the latter focuses on application, while the former focuses on modeling and derivation (see: Quantitative analyst). There is also a significant overlap with financial risk management.
Experimental finance aims to establish different market settings and environments to observe experimentally and provide a lens through which science can analyze agents' behavior and the resulting characteristics of trading flows, information diffusion, and aggregation, price setting mechanisms, and returns processes. Researchers in experimental finance can study to what extent existing financial economics theory makes valid predictions and therefore prove them, and attempt to discover new principles on which such theory can be extended and be applied to future financial decisions. Research may proceed by conducting trading simulations or by establishing and studying the behavior, and the way that these people act or react, of people in artificial competitive market-like settings.
Behavioral finance studies how the psychology of investors or managers affects financial decisions and markets when making a decision that can impact either negatively or positively on one of their areas. Behavioral finance has grown over the last few decades to become central and very important to finance.
Behavioral finance includes such topics as:
A strand of behavioral finance has been dubbed quantitative behavioral finance, which uses mathematical and statistical methodology to understand behavioral biases in conjunction with valuation.
The following content uses material from the Wikipedia article which can be viewed, along with the content contribution references and acknowledgements, at: Economy, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. Please note that the GNU Free Documentation License may also exist on some text material. Images may not fall under either of the aforementioned licences and particular attention needs to be made when considering to use images or other media files. For full reuse and copyright policy details, please refer to: Wikipedia content reuse copyright information.
An economy (from Greek ????? ? "household" and ???o??? ? "manage") is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. Understood in its broadest sense, 'The economy is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use, and management of resources'. A given economy is the result of a set of processes that involves its culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure and legal systems, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions. In other words, the economic domain is a social domain of human practices and transactions. It does not stand alone.
Economic agents can be individuals, businesses, organizations, or governments. Economic transactions occur when two groups or parties agree to the value or price of the transacted good or service, commonly expressed in a certain currency. However, monetary transactions only account for a small part of the economic domain.
Economic activity is spurred by production which uses natural resources, labor and capital. It has changed over time due to technology (automation, accelerator of process, reduction of cost functions), innovation (new products, services, processes, expanding markets, diversification of markets, niche markets, increases revenue functions) such as, that which produces intellectual property and changes in industrial relations (most notably child labor being replaced in some parts of the world with universal access to education).
A market-based economy is one where goods and services are produced and exchanged according to demand and supply between participants (economic agents) by barter or a medium of exchange with a credit or debit value accepted within the network, such as a unit of currency. A command-based economy is one where political agents directly control what is produced and how it is sold and distributed. A green economy is low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. In a green economy, growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. A gig economy is one in which short-term jobs are assigned or chosen via online platforms. New economy is a term that referred to the whole emerging ecosystem where new standards and practices were introduced, usually as a result of technological innovations. The global economy refers to humanity's economic system or systems overall.
Today the range of fields of study examining the economy revolves around the social science of economics, but may include sociology (economic sociology), history (economic history), anthropology (economic anthropology), and geography (economic geography). Practical fields directly related to the human activities involving production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of goods and services as a whole are engineering, management, business administration, applied science, and finance.
All professions, occupations, economic agents or economic activities, contribute to the economy. Consumption, saving, and investment are variable components in the economy that determine macroeconomic equilibrium. There are three main sectors of economic activity: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Due to the growing importance of the economical sector in modern times, the term real economy is used by analysts as well as politicians to denote the part of the economy that is concerned with the actual production of goods and services, as ostensibly contrasted with the paper economy, or the financial side of the economy, which is concerned with buying and selling on the financial markets. Alternate and long-standing terminology distinguishes measures of an economy expressed in real values (adjusted for inflation), such as real GDP, or in nominal values (unadjusted for inflation).
The English words "economy" and "economics" can be traced back to the Greek word (i.e. "household management"), a composite word derived from ("house;household;home") and ???? ("manage; distribute;to deal out;dispense") by way of ("household management").
The first recorded sense of the word "economy" is in the phrase "the management of ?conomic affairs", found in a work possibly composed in a monastery in 1440. "Economy" is later recorded in more general senses, including "thrift" and "administration".
The most frequently used current sense, denoting "the economic system of a country or an area", seems not to have developed until the 1650s.
As long as someone has been making, supplying and distributing goods or services, there has been some sort of economy; economies grew larger as societies grew and became more complex. Sumer developed a large-scale economy based on commodity money, while the Babylonians and their neighboring city states later developed the earliest system of economics as we think of, in terms of rules/laws on debt, legal contracts and law codes relating to business practices, and private property.
The Babylonians and their city state neighbors developed forms of economics comparable to currently used civil society (law) concepts. They developed the first known codified legal and administrative systems, complete with courts, jails, and government records.
The ancient economy was mainly based on subsistence farming. The Shekel referred to an ancient unit of weight and currency. The first usage of the term came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. and referred to a specific mass of barley which related other values in a metric such as silver, bronze, copper etc. A barley/shekel was originally both a unit of currency and a unit of weight, just as the British Pound was originally a unit denominating a one-pound mass of silver.
For most people, the exchange of goods occurred through social relationships. There were also traders who bartered in the marketplaces. In Ancient Greece, where the present English word 'economy' originated, many people were bond slaves of the freeholders. The economic discussion was driven by scarcity.
In Medieval times, what we now call economy was not far from the subsistence level. Most exchange occurred within social groups. On top of this, the great conquerors raised what we now call venture capital (from ventura, ital.; risk) to finance their captures. The capital should be refunded by the goods they would bring up in the New World. The discoveries of Marco Polo (1254?1324), Christopher Columbus (1451?1506) and Vasco da Gama (1469?1524) led to a first global economy. The first enterprises were trading establishments. In 1513, the first stock exchange was founded in Antwerpen. Economy at the time meant primarily trade.
The European captures became branches of the European states, the so-called colonies. The rising nation-states Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands tried to control the trade through custom duties and (from mercator, lat.: merchant) was a first approach to intermediate between private wealth and public interest. The secularization in Europe allowed states to use the immense property of the church for the development of towns. The influence of the nobles decreased. The first Secretaries of State for economy started their work. Bankers like Amschel Mayer Rothschild (1773?1855) started to finance national projects such as wars and infrastructure. Economy from then on meant national economy as a topic for the economic activities of the citizens of a state.
The first economist in the true modern meaning of the word was the Scotsman Adam Smith (1723?1790) who was inspired partly by the ideas of physiocracy, a reaction to mercantilism and also later Economics student, Adam Mari. He defined the elements of a national economy: products are offered at a natural price generated by the use of competition - supply and demand - and the division of labor. He maintained that the basic motive for free trade is human self-interest. The so-called self-interest hypothesis became the anthropological basis for economics. Thomas Malthus (1766?1834) transferred the idea of supply and demand to the problem of overpopulation.
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way. In Europe wild capitalism started to replace the system of mercantilism (today: protectionism) and led to economic growth. The period today is called industrial revolution because the system of Production, production and division of labor enabled the mass production of goods.
The contemporary concept of "the economy" wasn't popularly known until the American Great Depression in the 1930s.
After the chaos of two World Wars and the devastating Great Depression, policymakers searched for new ways of controlling the course of the economy. This was explored and discussed by Friedrich August von Hayek (1899?1992) and Milton Friedman (1912?2006) who pleaded for a global free trade and are supposed to be the fathers of the so-called neoliberalism. However, the prevailing view was that held by John Maynard Keynes (1883?1946), who argued for a stronger control of the markets by the state. The theory that the state can alleviate economic problems and instigate economic growth through state manipulation of aggregate demand is called Keynesianism in his honor. In the late 1950s, the economic growth in America and Europe?often called Wirtschaftswunder (ger: economic miracle) ?brought up a new form of economy: mass consumption economy. In 1958, John Kenneth Galbraith (1908?2006) was the first to speak of an affluent society. In most of the countries the economic system is called a social market economy.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the transition of the countries of the Eastern Bloc towards democratic government and market economies, the idea of the post-industrial society is brought into importance as its role is to mark together the significance that the service sector receives instead of industrialization. Some attribute the first use of this term to Daniel Bell's 1973 book, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, while others attribute it to social philosopher Ivan Illich's book, Tools for Conviviality. The term is also applied in philosophy to designate the fading of postmodernism in the late 90s and especially in the beginning of the 21st century.
With the spread of Internet as a mass media and communication medium especially after 2000-2001, the idea for the Internet and information economy is given place because of the growing importance of e-commerce and electronic businesses, also the term for a global information society as understanding of a new type of "all-connected" society is created. In the late 2000s, the new type of economies and economic expansions of countries like China, Brazil, and India bring attention and interest to different from the usually dominating Western type economies and economic models.
The economy may be considered as having developed through the following phases or degrees of precedence.
In modern economies, these phase precedences are somewhat differently expressed by the three-sector theory.
Other sectors of the developed community include :
There are a number of concepts associated with the economy, such as these:
The GDP (gross domestic product) of a country is a measure of the size of its economy. The most conventional economic analysis of a country relies heavily on economic indicators like the GDP and GDP per capita. While often useful, GDP only includes economic activity for which money is exchanged.
An informal economy is economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government, contrasted with a formal economy. The informal economy is thus not included in that government's gross national product (GNP). Although the informal economy is often associated with developing countries, all economic systems contain an informal economy in some proportion.
Informal economic activity is a dynamic process that includes many aspects of economic and social theory including exchange, regulation, and enforcement. By its nature, it is necessarily difficult to observe, study, define, and measure. No single source readily or authoritatively defines informal economy as a unit of study.
The terms "underground", "under the table" and "off the books" typically refer to this type of economy. The term black market refers to a specific subset of the informal economy. The term "informal sector" was used in many earlier studies, and has been mostly replaced in more recent studies which use the newer term.
The informal sector makes up a significant portion of the economies in developing countries but it is often stigmatized as troublesome and unmanageable. However, the informal sector provides critical economic opportunities for the poor and has been expanding rapidly since the 1960s. As such, integrating the informal economy into the formal sector is an important policy challenge.
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