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The Probert Encyclopaedia of Money

BACK FREIGHT

In business, back freight is the cost of shipping goods back to the port of destination after they have been over carried. If the master over carried the goods for reasons beyond his control, the ship owner may be responsible for paying the back freight. If delivery was not accepted in reasonable time at the port of destination and the master took the goods on or sent them back to the port of shipment, the back freight would be the responsibility of the cargo owner.
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BACKWARDATION

In business, backwardation is the difference between the spot price of a commodity, including rent, insurance, and interest accrued, and the forward price.
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BAD DEBT

In business, a bad debt is an amount owing from a debtor that is very unlikely to be paid. Such an amount can be treated as a loss and written off in the profit and loss account. Doubtful debts may appear in the accounts of an organization as a provision for bad debts.
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BAGIMONT'S ROLL

Bagimont's Roll was a rent-roll of Scotland, made up in 1275 by Baiamund or Boiamond de Vicci, vulgarly called Bagimont, who was sent from Rome by the pope, in the reign of Alexander III, to collect the tithe of all the church livings in Scotland for an expedition to the Holy Land. It remained the statutory valuation, according to which the benefices were taxed, until the Reformation. A copy of it as it existed in the reign of James V is in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh.
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BAHT

The baht is the monetary unit of Thailand. The baht derives its name from the old Siamese word for quarter because when the baht was introduced its value was one quarter that of the tamlung which it replaced.
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BAILMENT

Bailment is a delivery of goods from the bailor (the owner of the goods) to the bailee (the recipient of the goods), on the condition that the goods will ultimately be returned to the bailor. The goods may thus be hired, lent, pledged, or deposited for safe custody. A delivery of this nature is usually also the subject of a contract; for example, a contract with a bank for the deposit of valuables for safekeeping. Nonetheless, in English law a bailment retains its distinguishing characteristic of a business relationship that arises outside the law of contract and is therefore not governed by it.
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BAJOCCO

The bajocco or baiocco was a small silver or copper coin used in the Papal States from 1592 to 1867 and valued at about a halfpenny.
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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

In economics, the balance of payments are the accounts setting out a country' s transactions with the outside world. They are divided into various sub- accounts, notably the current account and the capital account. The former includes the trade account, which records the balance of imports and exports. Overall, the accounts must always be in balance. A deficit or surplus on the balance of payments refers to an imbalance on a sub- account, usually the amount by which the foreign-exchange reserves of the government have been depleted or increased. The conventions used for presenting balance-of- payments statistics are those recommended by the International Monetary Fund.
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BALANCE OF TRADE

In economics, the balance of trade are the accounts setting out the results of a country's trading position. It is a component of the balance of payments, forming part of the current account. It includes both the visibles (i.e. imports and exports in physical merchandise) and the invisible balance (receipts and expenditure on such services as insurance, finance, freight, and tourism).

The balance is said to be 'in favour' of a country when the value of the exports is in excess of that of the imports and ' against it' when the imports are in excess of the exports. The phrases date from the days of the mercantile system, the characteristic doctrine of which alleged the desirability of regulating commerce with a view to amassing treasure by exporting produce largely, importing little merchandise in return, and receiving the balance in bullion.
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BALANCE SHEET

The balance sheet is one of the principal statements comprising a set of accounts, showing the financial state of affairs of an organization on a given date, usually the last day of an accounting period. A balance sheet has three main headings: assets, liabilities, and capital. The assets must always equal the sum of the liabilities and the capital, as the statement can be looked at in either of two ways: (1) as a statement of the organization's wealth, in which case the assets less the liabilities equal the capital (the amount of wealth attributable to the proprietors); or (2) as a statement of how the assets have been funded, i.e. partly by borrowing (the liabilities) and partly by the proprietors (the capital). Although a balance sheet balances, i.e. its two sides are equal, it is actually so named since it comprises balances from the accounts in the ledgers.
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BALBOA

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The balboa was a silver coin forming the monetary unit of Panama during the early 20th century. The balboa was so named after the portrait of Vasco Nunez de Balboa which appeared upon it.
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BALTIC EXCHANGE

The Baltic Exchange is a commodity and freight-chartering exchange in the City of London. It takes its name from the trade in grain with Baltic ports that was the mainstay of its business in the 18th century. International commodity trading continues in grain, potatoes, and meat under the auspices of the Grain and Free Trade Association (GAFTA). The exchange is also a centre for chartering freight for goods shipped by sea and for chartering aircraft for both goods and passengers. Dealings in forward freight are supervised by the Baltic International Freight Futures Exchange (BIFFEX).
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BANK

A bank is the place of business of a money-dealer. The name originates from Italy where money-lenders operated from a bench known as a banco, or in English a bank.

In a similar context, in gambling and other games the word bank is the name given to the dealer's fund.
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BANK BILL

A bank bill is a bill of exchange issued or guaranteed (accepted) by a bank. It is more acceptable than a trade bill as there is less risk of non-payment and hence it can be discounted at a more favourable rate.
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BANK CERTIFICATE

A bank certificate is a certificate, signed by a bank manager, stating the balance held to a company' s credit on a specified date. It may be asked for by a company's auditors if there is any reason for them to doubt the figures given by the company.
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BANK CHARGES

Bank charges are the amounts of money charged to a customer's account by a bank as a handling charge or a charge for any special services. Charges may be made for clearing cheques, making deposits, or settling standing orders and direct debits. However, modern practice is to provide 'free banking' by waiving such charges on current accounts as long as they remain in credit for a specified period. The commercial banks have largely been forced to take this step as a result of the free banking services offered by building societies.
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BANK DRAFT

A bank draft (banker's cheque; banker's draft) is a cheque drawn by a bank on itself or its agent. A person who owes money to another buys the draft from a bank for cash and hands it to the creditor who need have no fear that it might be dishonoured. A bank draft is used if the creditor is unwilling to accept an ordinary cheque.
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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international bank originally established in 1930 as a financial institution to coordinate the payment of war reparations between European central banks. It was hoped that the BIS, with headquarters in Basle, would develop into a European central bank but many of its functions were taken over by the International Monetary Fund after the Second World War. Since then the BIS has fulfilled several roles including acting as a trustee and agent for various international groups, such as the OECD, European Monetary Agreement, etc. The frequent meetings of the BIS directors have been a useful means of cooperation between central banks, especially in combating short-term speculative monetary movements. Since 1986 the BIS has acted as a clearing house for inter-bank transactions in the form of European Currency Units. The original members were France, Belgium, West Germany, Italy, and the UK but now most European central banks are represented as well as the USA, Canada, and Japan. The London agent is the Bank of England, whose governor is a member of the board of directors of the BIS.
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BANK NOTE

A bank note is a promissory note issued by a legally authorized bank, payable to the bearer on demand, and current as money.
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BANK OF ENGLAND

The Bank of England was projected by William Paterson, a Scottish merchant, to meet the difficulty experienced by William III in raising the supplies for the war against France, and founded in 1694. 40 merchants subscribed 500, 000 pounds towards the sum of 1,200,000 pounds to be lent to the government at 8 per cent., in consideration of the subscribers being incorporated as a bank. A royal charter was granted in 1694 appointing Sir John Houblon the first governor and the bank commenced active operations on the 1st of January 1695.
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BANK RATE

Bank rate is an obsolete term for the rate of interest at which the central bank (Bank of England) lends to the banking system, which in practice meant the rate charged for either rediscounting ' eligible paper' or making loans to the discount market. This was replaced between 1972 and 1981 by the minimum lending rate (MLR).
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BANK STATEMENT

A bank statement is a regular record, issued by a bank or building society, showing the credit and debit entries in a customer's cheque account, together with the current balance. The frequency of issue will vary with the customer's needs and the volume of transactions going through the account. Modern cash dispensers enable the customer to ask for a statement whenever he needs one.
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BANKER'S REFERENCE

A banker's reference is a reference provided by a bank with regard to the creditworthiness of a customer and his suitability for being given trade credit. Increasingly this information is being provided by private credit- reference agencies, who collate information regarding debtors, ratepayers, bankruptcies, and court judgments in order to build a financial picture of each customer.
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BANKING

Banking is the business of borrowing, lending, exchanging or caring for money.
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BANKRUPT

A bankrupt is one legally adjudged as being unable to pay their debts and liable to, or under legal procedure for, insolvency. The word is by extension used to mean utterly depleted or exhausted, utterly deprived or bereft of, thus one might be described as being morally bankrupt if one is completely without moral scruples,
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BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is the state of an individual who is unable to pay his debts and against whom a bankruptcy order has been made by a court.

The term originates from the money lenders of Italy whom, when unable to continue business had their money lending bench (known as a bank in English) broken up.

The order deprives the bankrupt of his property, which is then used to pay his debts.
Bankruptcy proceedings are started by a petition, which may be presented to the court by:


  1. a creditor or creditors;
  2. a person affected by a voluntary arrangement to pay debts set up by the debtor under the Insolvency Act (1986)
  3. the Director of Public Prosecutions
  4. the debtor himself. The grounds for a creditors' petition are that the debtor appears to be unable to pay his debts or to have reasonable prospects of doing so, i.e. that the debtor has failed to make arrangements to pay a debt for which a statutory demand has been made or that a judgment debt has not been satisfied.

The debts must amount to at least 750 pounds. The grounds for a petition by a person bound by a voluntary arrangement are that the debtor has not complied with the terms of the arrangement or has withheld material information. The Director of Public Prosecutions may present a petition in the public interest under the Powers of Criminal Courts Act (1973). The debtor himself may present a petition on the ground that he is unable to pay his debts. Once a petition has been presented, the debtor may not dispose of any of his property. The court may halt any other legal proceedings against the debtor. An interim receiver may be appointed. This will usually be the official receiver, who will take any necessary action to protect the debtor' s estate. A special manager may be appointed if the nature of the debtor's business requires it. The court may make a bankruptcy order at its discretion. Once this has happened, the debtor is an undischarged bankrupt. He is deprived of the ownership of all his property and must assist the official receiver in listing it, recovering it, protecting it, etc. The official receiver becomes manager and receiver of the estate until the appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy.

The bankrupt must prepare a statement of his affairs for the official receiver within 21 days of the bankruptcy order. A public examination of the bankrupt may be ordered on the application of the official receiver or the creditors, in which the bankrupt will be required to answer questions about his affairs in court. Within twelve weeks the official receiver must decide whether to call a meeting of creditors to appoint a trustee in bankruptcy. The trustee's duties are to collect, realize, and distribute the bankrupt's estate. He may be appointed by the creditors, the court, or the Secretary of State; he must be a qualified insolvency practitioner, or the official receiver. All the property of the bankrupt is available to pay the creditors, except for the following: equipment necessary to him in his employment or business, necessary domestic equipment; and income required for the reasonable domestic needs of the bankrupt and his family. The court has discretion whether to order sale of a house in which a spouse or children are living. All creditors must prove their claims to the trustees.

Only unsecured claims can be proved in bankruptcy. When all expenses have been paid, the trustee will divide the estate. The Insolvency Act (1986) sets out the order in which creditors will be paid. The bankruptcy may end automatically after two or three years, but in some cases a court order is required. The bankrupt is discharged and receives a certificate of discharge from the court.
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BAREBOAT CHARTER

A bareboat charter (demise charter) is a form of chartering a ship in which the expenses incurred during the period of the charter are paid by the hirer, including the hiring of the master and crew, the provision of fuel and stores, etc. All the hirer gets is the ship.
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BARGAINING THEORY

Bargaining theory is the economic theory that analyses economic outcomes between individuals possessing market power. Under conditions of perfect competition no individual has any market power; in most situations of practical interest, however, individuals have some influence over the prices at which they buy and sell. Bargaining theory can be applied to the determination of wages, competition between oligopolists, or even the relationship between the government and the electorate. Modern
bargaining theory mainly centres on game theory and focuses on some of the main problems in contemporary economies.
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BAROMETER STOCK

In economics, barometer stock is a security whose price is regarded as an indicator of the state of the market. It will be a widely held blue chip with a stable price record.
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BARRATRY

Barratry is any act committed wilfully by the master or crew of a ship to the detriment of its owner or charterer. Examples include scuttling the ship and embezzling the cargo. Illegal activities (e.g. carrying prohibited persons) leading to the forfeiture of the ship also constitute barratry. Barratry is one of the risks covered by marine insurance policies.
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BARTER

Barter is a method of trading in which goods or services are exchanged without the use of money. It is a cumbersome system, which severely limits the scope for trade. Means of exchange, such as money, enable individuals to trade with each other at much greater distance and through whole chains of intermediaries, which are inconceivable in a barter system. With a general falling in literacy during the 21st century, the term barter was frequently erroneously used in place of the term haggle when referring to negotiating or arguing over a price to be paid for goods or services.
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BASE RATE

In economics the base rate is the rate of interest used by the commercial banks as a basis for the rates they charge their customers. The base rate is an informal name for the rate at which the Bank of England lends to the discount houses, which effectively controls the lending rate throughout the banking system. The abolition of the minimum lending rate in 1981 heralded a loosening of government control over the banking system, but the need to increase interest rates in the late 1980s (to control inflation and the balance of payments deficit) led to the use of this term in this sense.
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BASE STOCK METHOD

In economics the base stock method is a method of accounting for stock movements that assumes a given amount of the stock never moves and therefore retains its original cost.
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BASE YEAR

In economics the base year (base date) is the first of a series of years in an index. It is often denoted by the number 100, enabling percentage rises (or falls) to be seen at a glance. For example, if a price index indicates that the current value is 120, this will only be meaningful if it is compared to an earlier figure. This may be written: 120 (base year 1985 = 100), making it clear that there has been a 20% increase in prices since 1985.
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BAWBEE

The bawbee was a small, low value Scottish coin. The word became applied to any small coin.
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BEAR

In economics, a bear is a dealer on a stock exchange, currency market, or commodity market who expects prices to fall. A bear market is one in which a dealer is more likely to sell securities, currency, or goods than to buy them. He may even sell securities, currency, or goods that he does not have. This is known as selling short or establishing a bear position. The bear hopes to close (or cover) his short position by buying in at a lower price the securities, currency, or goods that he has contracted to deliver. The difference between the purchase price and the original sale price represents the successful bear's profit. A concerted attempt to force prices down by one or more bears by sustained selling is called a bear raid. In a bear squeeze, sellers force prices up against someone known to have a bear position that he has to cover.
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BEARD LICENSE

In Russia, a beard license was formerly a copper disc carried by men to show they had paid the beard tax imposed by Peter the Great in 1698. The beard tax was a sum of 100 roubles imposed on all men who wanted to wear a beard. Failure to pay the required tax was punishable by death.
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BEARISH

In commerce, bearish refers to falling prices.
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BED AND BREAKFAST

Bed and breakfast is an operation on the London Stock Exchange in which a shareholder sells a holding one evening and makes an agreement with the broker to buy the same holding back again when the market opens the next morning. The object is to establish a loss, which can be set against other profits for calculating capital-gains tax. In the event of an unexpected change in the market, the deal is scrapped.
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BELGA

The belga was an old monetary unit of Belgium.
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BELLYBUTTON DOLLAR

The Bellybutton Dollar is a variety of 1884 silver dollar that has a defect from the die causing a strategically placed depression on the eagle's lower abdomen.
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BELOW-THE-LINE

In business, below-the-line is a term denoting entries below the horizontal line on a company's profit and loss account that separates the entries that establish the profit (or loss) from the entries that show how the profit is distributed or where the funds to finance the loss have come from.
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BENEFICE

A benefice is an ecclesiastical living; a church endowed with a revenue for the maintenance of divine service. Vicarages, rectories, perpetual curacies, and chaplaincies are termed benefices, in contradistinction to dignities, such as bishoprics, etc.
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BENEFICIAL INTEREST

Beneficial interest is the right to the use and enjoyment of property, rather than to its bare legal ownership. For example, if property is held in trust, the trustee has the legal title but the beneficiaries have the beneficial interest in equity. The beneficiaries, not the trustee, are entitled to any income from the property.
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BENEFICIAL OWNER

The owner of a beneficial interest in property is known as the beneficial owner.
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BENEFICIARY

A beneficiary is a person for whose benefit a trust exists or a person who benefits under a will.
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BENEFIT TAXATION

Benefit taxation is a form of taxation in which taxpayers pay tax according to the amounts of benefit that they receive from the system. Such a system of taxation is, in practice, very difficult to apply unless specific charges are made for specific services, such as metered electricity charges.
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BENEFITS IN KIND

Benefits in kind (income in kind) are remuneration other than wages and salaries; they include company cars, free lunches, health insurance, cheap loans, etc. In an economy in which the main form of taxation is an income tax, benefits in kind become common because, without special provisions, they avoid tax. There is usually therefore a substantial body of legislation to enable the authorities to tax these benefits.
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BENEVOLENCE

Formerly, benevolence was a loan imposed on the people in England by the king like a tax but without the authority of Parliament.
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BENEVOLENCES

Benevolences were a means of raising money by forced loans or contributions. They were first adopted by Edward IV, and employed frequently down to the time of James I.
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BEQUEATH

To bequeath is to give or leave by will; to hand down; to transmit by inheritance. Thus one may bequeath all one's money to someone else upon one's death.
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BEQUEST

A bequest is something left in a will; a legacy. Money bequeathed in a will is a bequest.
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BESHLIK

The Beshlik was a Turkish silver coin, with a value of 5 piastres in use around 1900.
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BETTERMENT

Betterment is a term used to mean an increase in the value of property arising not from any improvement effected on it by the owner, but from the increase of population, general improvements carried out at the public expense or similar causes.
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BEZANT

A bezant was an old gold or silver coin from Constantinople and Byzantium used between about the 6th and 16th centuries.
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BIG BANG

Big Bang was the upheaval on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) when major changes in operation were introduced on the 27th of October 1986. The major changes enacted on that date were: (a) the abolition of LSE rules enforcing a dual-capacity system; (b) the abolition of fixed commission rates charged by stockbrokers to their clients. The measures were introduced by the LSE in return for an undertaking by the government (given in 1983) that they would not prosecute the LSE under the Restrictive Practices Act. Since 1986 the Big Bang has also been associated with the globalisation and modernization of the London securities market.
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BIG EIGHT

In business the Big Eight are the eight largest firms of accountants in the world, i.e. Arthur Andersen, Coopers and Lybrand, Deloitte Haskins and Sells, Ernst and Whinney, Peat Marwick Mitchell, Price Waterhouse, Touche Ross, and Arthur Young.
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BIG FOUR

In business, Big Four is the name given to the four largest UK commercial banks, i.e. Barclays, Lloyds (now Lloyds-TSB), Midland (now HSBC), and National Westminster.
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BILATERAL MONOPOLY

In economics a bilateral monopoly is a situation in which a monopoly seller bargains with a monopoly buyer. The classic application of bilateral monopoly is to the negotiation of wages between a union and a firm. The most famous solution is that stated by John Nash in the 1950s, which suggests that both sides will settle for the wage that maximizes the benefits from cooperation.
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BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT

A bilateral trade agreement is an agreement on trade policy between two countries, usually concerning a reduction in tariffs or other protective barriers. Although bilateral deals tend to fragment world trade, governments are attracted by their relative simplicity.
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BILL

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A bill is an account rendered for monies owed for goods sold, work done or services given.
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BILL BROKER

A bill broker (discount broker) is a broker who buys bills of exchange from traders and sells them to banks and discount houses or holds them to maturity. Many now deal exclusively in Treasury bills.
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BILL OF COSTS

A Bill of Costs is an account rendered by an attorney or solicitor of his charges and disbursements in an action, or in the conduct of his client's business.
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BILL OF ENTRY

A bill of entry is a detailed statement of the nature and value of a consignment of goods prepared by the shipper of the consignment for customs entry.
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BILL OF EXCHANGE

A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person (the drawer) to another (the drawee) and signed by the person giving it, requiring the drawee to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a specified sum of money to or to the order of a specified person (the payee) or to the bearer. If the bill is payable at a future time the drawee signifies his acceptance, which makes him the party primarily liable upon the bill; the drawer and endorsers may also be liable upon a bill. The use of bills of exchange enables one person to transfer to another an enforceable right to a sum of money. A bill of exchange is not only transferable but also negotiable, since if a person without an enforceable right to the money transfers a bill to a holder in due course, the latter obtains a good title to it. Much of the law on bills of exchange is codified by the Bills of Exchange Act (1882).
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BILL OF LADING

A bill of lading is a document acknowledging the shipment of a consignor's goods for carriage by sea. It is used primarily when the ship is carrying goods belonging to a number of consignors (a general ship). In this case, each consignor receives a bill issued (normally by the master of the ship) on behalf of either the ship owner or a charterer under a charter party. The bill serves three functions: it is a receipt for the goods; it summarizes the terms of the contract of carriage; and it acts as a document of title to the goods.

A bill of lading is also issued by a ship owner to a charterer who is using the ship for the carriage of his own goods. In this case, the terms of the contract of carriage are in the charter party and the bill serves only as a receipt and a document of title. During transit, ownership of the goods may be transferred by delivering the bill to another if it is drawn to bearer or by endorsing it if it is drawn to order. It is not, however, a negotiable instrument. The bill gives details of the goods; if the packages are in good order a clean bill is issued; if they are not, the bill will say so.
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BILL OF QUANTITIES

A bill of quantities is a document drawn up by a quantity surveyor showing in detail the materials and parts required to build a structure (e.g. factory, house, office block), together with the price of each component and the labour costs. The bill of quantities is one of the tender documents that goes out to contractors who wish to quote for carrying out the work.
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BILL OF SALE

A bill of sale is a document by which a person transfers the ownership of goods to another. Commonly the goods are transferred conditionally, as security for a debt, and a conditional bill of sale is thus a mortgage of goods. The mortgagor has a right to redeem the goods on repayment of the debt and usually remains in possession of them; he may thus obtain false credit by appearing to own them. An absolute bill of sale transfers ownership of the goods absolutely. The Bills of Sale Acts (1878 and 1882) regulate the registration and form of bills of sale.

In maritime business a bill of sale is a document recording the change of ownership when a ship is sold; it is regarded internationally as legal proof of ownership.
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BILL OF SIGHT

A bill of sight is a document that an importer, who is unable fully to describe a cargo he is importing, gives to the Customs and Excise authorities to authorize them to inspect the goods on landing.
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BILL OF SUFFERANCE

A bill of sufferance is a document issued by the Customs and Excise enabling goods to be landed in the absence of detailed documentation, subject to the Customs being able to examine the goods at any time.
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BILL RATE

The bill rate (discount rate) is the rate on the discount market at which bills of exchange are discounted (i.e. purchased for less than they are worth when they mature). The rate will depend on the quality of the bill and the risk the purchaser takes. First-class bills, i.e. those backed by banks or well-respected finance houses, will be discounted at a lower rate than bills involving greater risk.
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BILLHEAD

A billhead is a printed form with a business address at the top, used for the issuing of a bill or a statement of account.
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BILLS IN A SET

In business, bills in a set are one of two, or more usually three, copies of a foreign bill of exchange. Payment is made on any one of the three, the others becoming invalid on the payment of any one of them. All are made out in the same way, except that each refers to the others. The first copy is called the first of exchange, the next is the second of exchange, and so on. The duplication or triplication is to reduce the risk of loss in transit.
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BILLS PAYABLE

Bills payable are an item that may appear in a firm's accounts under current liabilities, summarizing the bills of exchange being held, which will have to be paid when they mature.
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BILLS RECEIVABLE

Bills receivable are an item that may appear in a firm's accounts under current assets, summarizing the bills of exchange being held until the funds become available when they mature.
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BIMETALLISM

Bimetallism is that system of coinage which recognizes coins of two metals (silver and gold) as legal tender to any amount; or in other words, the concurrent use of coins of two metals as a circulating medium, the ratio of value between the two being arbitrarily fixed by law.

It was contended by advocates of the system that by fixing a legal ratio between the value of gold and silver, and using both as legal tender, fluctuations in the value of the metals are avoided, whilst the prices of commodities are rendered steadier. But the opponents of bimetallism claim that this can be better obtained by creating a legal unit or standard from the prices of an adequate number of staple articles, so that a long-standing debt would at maturity be paid with the same purchasing-power which was in vogue when it was borrowed; and that such a multiple standard would take away all reason for bimetallism.

The bimetallic system had its origin in France and dates from the French Revolution. Most countries have tried the system, and its use has generally been attended by great hardships and losses to the people, caused by the never-ceasing fluctuations and alterations in this ever-varying standard of value.

Germany introduced a single gold standard by the statutes of December the 4th, 1871, and July the 9th, 1873. England had it since laid. In both countries token coins of other metals were legal tender for small amounts only. In the Latin Monetary Union, consisting of France, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland, this composite system actually prevailed since 1874, and the treaty of 1885 stipulated that the same shall continue at least five years after January 1, 1886. Gold was the principal standard also in Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Holland. The USA established a double standard in 1792. The act of 1834 in the USA changed the legal rate from 1:15 to l:l6; and the weight of gold coin was diminished proportionally, and the standard of coinage thus debased. The USA actually had a gold currency from December 31, 1853 until 1861, when specie payments were suspended. A double or bimetallic standard was adopted 1873.
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BIRKBECK BANK

The Birkbeck Bank evolved from the Birkbeck Building Society which was named after George Birkbeck. The bank failed in 1911 with liabilities of nearly 11, 000,000 pounds, but returned 16s. 9d. in the pound to the shareholders and depositors.
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BIT

Bit was a name for a West Indian half pistreen coin.
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BLACK DOG

A black dog was a base silver coin minted in the reign of Anne. It was made of pewter double washed.
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BLACK ECONOMY

A black economy is economic activity that is undisclosed, as to disclose it would render the earnings involved liable to taxation or even cause those engaged to be imprisoned (if they are claiming state benefits and have lied about their earnings). In economies in which production and exchange are regulated by the state, the black economy is generally considered to be very large, although by its nature it is immeasurable. Even in mixed economies, however, the black economy is thought to be significant, largely due to the benefits of evading tax. Earnings made in the black economy do not appear in national statistics.
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BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday was the name given to a commercial panic in London on the 11th May 1866 through the stoppage of Overend, Gurney and Co. who were committed to trial for conspiracy to defraud. On Friday 21st November 1890 a temporary panic was produced by the embarrassments of the Baring Brothers.

Black Friday was the name given to a commercial panic in Wall Street, USA, on September the 19th 1873 following the failure of the leading American bankers Jay Cooke and Company.
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BLACK KNIGHT

In business a black knight is a person or firm that makes an unwelcome takeover bid for a company.
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BLACK LIST

Originally, a black list was a list of bankrupts or other parties whose names were officially known as failing to meet pecuniary engagements. Later the term was extended to be a list of undesireable people generally, such as those not to be employed, or to be excluded generally.
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BLACK MARKET

A black market is an illegal market for a particular good or service. It can occur when regulations control a particular trade (as in arms dealing) or a particular period (as in wartime).
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BLACK MONEY

Black money was a name given to base coins brought to England by foreigners, and prohibited by Edward III.
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BLAND DOLLAR

The Bland dollar was the name given to the standard American silver dollar coin consisting of 412.5 grains of silver coined in accordance with the Bland-Allison Silver Act of 1878.
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BLANK

A blank was a kind of base silver money, first coined in England by Henry V., and worth about eight pence. A blank was also, a French coin of the seventeenth century, worth about four pence.
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BLANK BILL

A blank bill is a bill of exchange in which the name of the payee is left blank.
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BLAZER

Blazer is a numismatic slang term for an Uncirculated or Proof coin having above-average lustre and visual appeal.
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BLOOD MONEY

Blood money is a term applied to monies paid or received for causing another person's death. Blood money was originally paid to the next of kin of a dead person by the slayer either as a penalty or in order to prevent a feud.The term blood money has also been used for the reward money paid for the capture of a murderer.
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BLOOD-MONEY

Blood-money is the compensation by a homicide to the next of kin of the person slain, securing the offender and his relatives against subsequent retaliation; once common in Scandinavian and Teutonic countries, and still a custom among the Arabs. The term is also applied to money earned by laying or supporting a charge implying peril to the life of an accused person.
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BLOTTER

A blotter is a book for recording commercial transactions.
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BLUE BUTTON

Blue button is the name applied to a trainee stockbroker on the London Stock Exchange, who can be distinguished by the small blue button badge worn in the lapel.
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BLUE CHIP

A blue chip is an ordinary share in a substantial company with a well-known name, a good growth record, and large assets. Blue chips are not precisely definable, but the main part of an institution's equity portfolio will consist of blue chips.
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BLUE IKES

Blue Ikes is a term used to describe 1971 to 1978 Eisenhower Uncirculated 40% -silver dollars in their original blue envelopes of issue.
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BLUEBACK

Blueback was a popular name for the notes or bills issued by the Southern Confederacy in America during the 19th century.
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BOARD OF TRADE

In the United Kingdom, the Board of Trade was an official committee of the British government having general supervision over British commerce and industry.

In the USA, a board of trade is a chamber of commerce, that is a group of businessmen and women organised to protect and further their business interests.
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BOARD OF TRADE AND PLANTATIONS

The Board of Trade and Plantations was formed in 1695 from the previously merged two separate councils for trade and foreign plantations which had been formed by Charles II in 1660 to supervise and regulate the commerce of the colonies in America. These original two councils were merged in 1672. In 1768 the Board of Trade and Plantations was abolished in 1782.
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BOARD WAGES

The term board wages formerly referred to pay given to a servant instead of food and lodgings.

Board wages was also the term for board and lodgings accepted by a servant in places of wages.

The phrase board wages means low pay barely sufficient to pay for board and lodging.
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BOCLAND

Bocland (Bockland, Bookland) was one of the original English modes of tenure of manor-land which was held by a short and simple deed under certain rents and free services.
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BODLE

A bodle was an old Scottish coin valued at one sixth of an English penny and of two Scots pennies. The name is said to have been derived from a mint-master of the name of Bothwell.
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BOND

In finance, a bond is an obligation issued by a corporation or government to pay a principal sum on a certain date with interest. The word is also loosely applied to any interest bearing certificate issued by a corporation or government.
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BOND NOTE

A bond note is a document, signed by an officer of the Customs and Excise, that enables goods to be released from a bonded warehouse, usually for re-export.
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BONDED

Bonded refers to something or someone held in bond , or under pledge, such as goods, for payment of import duties.
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BONDED GOODS

Bonded goods are imported goods on which neither customs duty nor excise have been paid although the goods are dutiable. They are stored in a bonded warehouse until the duty has been paid or the goods re-exported.
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BONDED WAREHOUSE

A bonded warehouse is a warehouse, usually close to a sea port or airport, in which goods that attract customs duty or excise are stored after being imported, pending payment of the duty or the re-export of the goods. The owners of the warehouse are held responsible for ensuring that the goods remain in bond until the duty is paid; they may only be released in the presence of a customs officer.
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BONNET-PIECE

A bonnet-piece is a gold coin of James V of Scotland, struck in 1539, in which the king's head is depicted wearing a bonnet rather than a crown.
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BOOBY HEAD

A booby head is an American 1839 large cent coin. The term was used as early as the 1850s because Miss Liberty exhibits an idiot's or booby's expression on her face.
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BOOK OF PRIME ENTRY

The book of prime entry is a book or record in which certain types of transaction are recorded before becoming part of the double-entry book- keeping system. The most common book of prime entry are the day books, the cash book, and the journal.
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BOOK VALUE

Book value is the value of an asset as recorded in the books of account of an organization. This is normally the historical cost of the asset reduced by amounts written off for depreciation. If the asset has ever been revalued, the book value will be the amount of the revaluation less amounts subsequently written off for depreciation. Except at the time of purchase of the asset, the book value will rarely be the same as the market value of the asset.
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BOOK-KEEPING

Book-keeping is the process of recording commercial transactions in a systematic and established procedure. These records provide the basis for the preparation of accounts. The earliest known work on double-entry book- keeping, was by Luca Pacioli, published in Venice in 1494. The method had, however, been practised by Italian merchants for several hundred years before that date. The first English work on the subject was by the schoolmaster Hugh Oldcastle and appeared in 1543.
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BOOKS OF ACCOUNT

Books of account are the books in which a business records its transactions.
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BOOM

A boom is a sudden increase of business activity, a rapid rise in prices, profits or income.
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BORODOVAIA

A borodovaia was a copper disc or token with a picture of a bearded head on one side. They were issued in Russia during the 18th century as a receipt for payment of the beard tax (beard license).
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BOTTOMRY

Bottomry is a term for money advanced to a ship owner or his agent in the course of a voyage, for the use of a ship and on the security of a ship, the repayment of which is conditional on the ship reaching its destination.
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BOUGHT DEAL

A bought deal is a method of raising capital for acquisitions or other purposes, used by quoted companies as an alternative to a rights issue or placing. The company invites market makers or banks to bid for new shares, selling them to the highest bidder, who then sells them to the rest of the market in the expectation of making a profit. Bought deals originated in the USA and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, although they remain controversial as they violate the principle of pre-emption rights.
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BOUNDED RATIONALITY

Bounded rationality is a form of rationality in which it is assumed that some economic agents will not go to the lengths of calculation required by full rationality in order to attain either utility or profit maximization but will instead follow various empirical rules determined by the complexity of the real situations they encounter. The concept was formulated by Herbert Simon and introduced into his analysis of managerial decision-making in the 1950s. Bounded rationality produces different predictions about economic behaviour from strict rationality, although it has proved extremely difficult to specify how far the bounds of rationality extend.
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BOURSE

Bourse was the former European name for a stock exchange or money market. The name Bourse is especially applied to the Paris stock exchange.
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BOUTIQUE

In business a boutique is an office, usually with a shop front and located in a shopping parade, that offers financial advice to investors, often on a walk-in basis.
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BOYCOTT

A boycott (named after the 19th century Irish land agent Captain Boycott) is a refusal by a group of people to associate with someone, with an organisation, or to trade in some commodity.
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BOYCOTTING

Boycotting was originally a name given to an organized system of social and commercial ostracism employed in Ireland in connection with the Land League and the land agitation of 1880 and 1881 and subsequently. Landlords, tenants, or other persons who are subjected to boycotting find it difficult or impossible to get any one to work for them, to supply them with the necessaries of life, or to associate with them in any way. It took its name from Captain James Boycott, a Mayo landlord, against whom it was first put in force.
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BRACKET INDEXATION

Bracket indexation is a change in the upper and lower limits of any particular taxation bracket in line with an index of inflation. This is needed in times of inflation to avoid fiscal drag (the tax system collecting unduly large amounts of tax).
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BRACTEATED COINS

Bracteated coins are coins of iron, copper, or brass; covered over with a thin plate of some richer metal such as gold or silver.
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BRACTEATES

Bracteates are old thin coins of gold or silver, with irregular figures on them, stamped upon one surface only, so that the impression appears raised on one side while the other appears hollow.
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BRASSAGE

Brassage is a fee charged by a mint to cover the expense of coinage.
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BREAK-FORWARD

In business a break-forward is a contract on the money market that combines the features of a forward-exchange contract and a currency option. The forward contract can be undone at a previously agreed rate of exchange, enabling the consumer to be free if the market moves in his favour. There is no premium on the option; the cost is built into the fixed rate of exchange.
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BRIBE

A bribe is a sum of money or another reward offered to, or demanded by, a public official or person in a position of trust etc in order to procure an often illegal or dishonest action or decision in favour of the giver. Thus a corporation may offer a politician a sum of money in exchange for the politician voting in such a way as the corporation requests, or a magazine editor may receive a trip to an exotic destination in order to be presented with a product for review.
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BRIBERY

Bribery is the act of giving or accepting a bribe - that is the giving or receiving of a sum of money or another reward to a public official or person in a position of trust etc in order to procure an often illegal or dishonest action or decision.
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BRIDGING LOAN

A bridging loan is a loan taken on a short-term basis to bridge the gap between the purchase of one asset and the sale of another. It is particularly common in the property and housing market.
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BRITANNIA COINS

Britannia coins are a range of four British gold coins in denominations of 100, 50, 25, and 10 pounds. They were introduced in October 1987 for investment purposes, in competition with the Krugerrand. Although all sales of gold coins attract VAT, Britannia coins are widely dealt in as bullion coins.
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BRITISH BANKERS ASSOCIATION

The British Bankers Association is an organization founded in 1920 to represent the views of the recognized UK banks (approximately 300). Membership is open to all banks established under British law with head offices in the UK. The Association is a member of the European Community Banking Federation.
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BRITISH OVERSEAS TRADE BOARD

The British Overseas Trade Board (BOTB) is an organization set up by the Department of Trade and Industry, whose members are drawn mainly from industry and commerce. The Board was formed in 1972 to advise on overseas trade and the official export-promotion programme. It liases between government and private industry to expand overseas trade, advises new exporters on foreign tariffs and regulations, assists exporters in displaying products in trade fairs, etc.
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BRITISH TEXTILE CONFEDERATION

The British Textile Confederation is an organization formed in 1972 to represent the interests of textile manufacturers, on issues of trading and economic policies, to the UK government and within the European Community.
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BROAD PIECE

Broad piece was a name sometimes formerly given to English gold pieces broader than a guinea, particularly Caroluses and Jacobuses.
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BROCKAGE

In coinage, a brockage is an error that sometimes occurs when a struck coin is not ejected properly from between the dies, with the result that the next coin struck receives an image of the first struck coin impressed into one side of it instead of the image from the die. This results in the second coin receiving a reversed image on one side instead of the expected image.
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BROKAGE

Brokage is the trade or fee of a broker. The word is especially applied to the fee charged by a marriage broker.
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BROKER

A broker is someone who executes orders from actual buyers and sellers for the transfer of stocks or other property on commission. Brokers are frequently known as 'middlemen' because they are in the middle between the buyer and the seller.
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BROKERAGE

Brokerage is the business of a broker. The word is also used for the commission charged by brokers for transacting business.
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BROKING

Broking is the business of a broker. The word is usually encountered in compound words such as 'stockbroking' meaning the business of arranging the buying and selling of stocks between buyers and sellers in exchange for a commission.
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BROWN IKES

Brown Ikes is a term used to describe 1971 to 1978 Eisenhower Proof 40%- silver dollars in their brown box of issue.
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BUDGET

Originally, a budget was a leather bag together with its contents. The word extended to mean a store or collection of miscellaneous matters and later into its most familiar meaning of an estimation of income and expenditure for the ensuing year together with proposals for maintaining a proper balance between the totals.
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BUILDING SOCIETY

A building society is a financial institution that accepts deposits, upon which it pays interest, and makes loans for house purchase or house improvement secured by mortgages. They developed from the Friendly Society movement in the late 17th century and are 'non-profit' making - the reality however is that the directors receive large sums of money in wages and bonuses.

The early building Societies were joint-stock benefit societies for the purpose of raising by periodical subscriptions a fund to assist members in obtaining small portions of landed property and houses, which were mortgaged to the society until the amount of the shares drawn on was fully repaid with interest. These societies were divided into two sections: the Proprietary and the Mutual Societies. The former class took money on deposit, paying a somewhat higher rate of interest than could generally be had on money available at call, and gave loans for building purposes, or the like, repayable by instalments. The profit of the company lay in the difference between the rate charged to borrowers and the rate paid to depositors.

The Mutual Societies were of two chief kinds, either limited to a certain term of years and confined to a certain number of members, or permanent, and not confined to any definite number of members, but ready to receive new members as long as the society existed. A favourite form of terminating society allotted its capital among the members, according to the number of shares they held, by ballot. The subscriptions were paid weekly or monthly, and on securing an 'appropriation' the member repaid this sum very much as he would have paid his rent, over a term of years, at the end of which the house or land became his own. He also maintained his small subscription, and at the winding-up of the society was entitled to a share of the profits.

Terminable societies were giving place to the permanent kind by 1910. These, by the constant admission of new members, have a constant supply of funds at their disposal, and are thus able to supply the demands of all the borrowers; while the security offered to investors induces many people to enter the society merely with the view of having a convenient means of depositing their savings, and not with the intention of acquiring any real property for themselves.

Building societies are regulated by the Building Society Act (1986). The societies accept deposits into a variety of accounts, which offer different interest rates and different withdrawal terms, or into 'shares', which often require longer notice of withdrawal. Interest on all building- society accounts is paid net of income tax, the society paying the tax direct to the Inland Revenue. The societies attract both large and small savers, with average holdings being about 5000 pounds.

Loans made to persons wishing to purchase property are usually repaid by regular monthly instalments of capital and interest over a number of years. Another method, which is growing in popularity, is an endowment mortgage in which the capital remains unpaid until the maturity of an assurance policy taken out on the borrower's life; in these arrangements only the interest and the premiums on the assurance policy are paid during the period of the loan. Since the 1986 Act, building societies have been able to widen the range of services they offer; this has enabled them to compete with the high-street banks in many areas. They offer cheque accounts, which pay interest on all credit balances, cash cards, credit cards, loans, money transmission, foreign exchange, personal financial planning services (shares, insurance, pensions, etc.), estate agency, and valuation and conveyancing services.

The distinction between banks and building societies is fast disappearing, indeed many building societies have obtained the sanction of their members to become public limited companies. These changes have led to the merger of many building societies to provide a national network that can compete with the Big Four banks. Competition is well illustrated in the close relationship of interest rates between banks and building societies as they both compete for the market's funds. Moreover, the competition provided by the building societies has forced the banks into offering free banking services, paying interest on current accounts, and Saturday opening.
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BULLION

Bullion is gold or silver in bars, plates or other masses which has not been minted. The term is also applied to coins which are valued solely for their metal.
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BULLISH

In commerce, bullish is a term applied to rising prices. Hence the stock market may be said to be in bullish mood when the price of share is rising, also known as a bull market.
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BUN PENNY

Bun penny is a popular name for a British penny showing a portrait of Queen Victoria in which she is wearing her hair in a bun, issued between 1860 and 1894. They are also known as the Victoria 'young head' penny.
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BURSARY

A bursary is the treasury of an educational institution.

A bursary (or burse) is an endowment or a grant of money for the support of a student.
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BURSE

Formerly, a burse was a stock exchange or money market (a bourse).
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BUTLERAGE

Butlerage was an old English duty, whereby every ship importing over twenty tons of wine was taxed two tons for the crown. The duty was changed to a tax of two shillings on every Tun in the reign of Edward I, and was payable to the king's butler, whence the name.
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