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  • Wal-Mart Tops Fortune 500 - 5 June 2014
  • First published in 1955 by Fortune magazine, the Fortune 500 ranks the top 500 privately held and publicly traded companies in the United States by gross revenue. Created by Fortune editor Edgar P. Smith, the report only lists companies that make their revenues publicly available, and gross revenue excludes excise taxes incurred by individual companies. In addition to the Fortune 500 list, Fortune magazine also compiles the Fortune Global 500, Fortune India 500, 40 under 40, and Fortune 500 Computer Software and Information Companies. Initially the Fortune 500 was restricted to companies in the manufacturing, mining and energy exploration sectors, but in 1994 the magazine included service companies, resulting in 291 new entrants on the list, three of which were counted in the Top 10 – Wal-Mart Stores Inc., AT&T Corp., and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

  • Volcker Rule Set to Take Effect in April 2014 - 12 December 2013
  • Described by President Barack Obama as "a rule that makes sure big banks can't make risky bets with their customer's deposits", the Volcker Rule forms part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is named for the man who proposed it – former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. A number of exceptions to the Volcker Rule are included in the Dodd-Frank law, but its main aim is to prevent the type of speculative activity which played a major role in the 2007-2010 financial crisis. The Volcker Rule was originally scheduled to come into effect with the Dodd-Frank law on July 21, 2012, but was delayed for various reasons, and is now scheduled to come into effect on April 1, 2014.

  • Caution Prevails on Wall Street - 16 may 2011
  • With the month of May already half-way through, the general attitude on Wall Street appears to be one of caution, which analysts believe will continue into the coming week. Although stocks were doing well around two weeks ago, hitting levels that had not been seen in almost three years, investors are reportedly wary of the possible negative impact that the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program, commonly referred to as QE2, at the end of June will have on markets. Moreover, falling home prices have resulted in growing number of homeowners having mortgages that are higher than the value of their homes, with some choosing to use their limited income to pay for utilities and daily necessities, and defaulting on their mortgages. Homeowners who have received short-term assistance with modified mortgages are facing the prospect of having to return to the original mortgage terms, paying more for a house than it is worth. President Barack Obama has been reported as saying that he wanted mortgage modifications for extended terms, as well as principal reductions; however this has not been received favorably by banking groups and it remains to be seen if homeowners will receive sufficient assistance to prevent foreclosures.

  • US$ vs € as International Trade Currency - 14 April 2011
  • As the currency most often used in international transactions and one of the world's reserve currencies, the United States dollar (US$) has a history spanning more than 200 years. In addition to being the official currency of the United States, the US$ is either the official or de facto currency of the British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Turks and Caicos Islands, Palau, Panama, Cambodia, Lebanon, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

  • Federal Reserve System: Formulating Monetary Policy - 7 April 2011
  • The Federal Reserve System of the United States came into being when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913. The Federal Reserve System, more commonly referred to as the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed, was created by Congress in an effort to provide a stable monetary and financial system, while at the same time allowing for flexibility to cater for a rapidly developing nation. Initially drafted by incoming chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee, Representative Carter Glass (D-VA), The Federal Reserve Act has evolved over the years and sets out the responsibilities and goals of the central bank.

  • Numismatics – Money Makes the World Go 'Round - 10 March 2011
  • Numismatics is defined as the study of currency in all its forms. The term is used to describe the practice of coin collecting as a hobby, as well as the study of money and alternative methods of payment for goods or to settle debts. First used in 1829, the English word numismatics has French, Latin and Greek origins from words meaning coin or of coins.

  • A Brief History of Trade – Part 1 - 29 July 2010
  • With the sophisticated methods of trading in the world today and stock exchanges handling billions of dollars on a daily basis, looking back at the challenges faced by early traders and the development of the modern commercial system can be quite fascinating. Trade is likely as old as mankind itself, with commodities and services being bartered long before different forms of currency were created. Some experts, including well respected historian Peter Watson, are of the opinion that commerce likely began around 150,000 years ago. Certainly, trade has featured prominently throughout recorded human history.

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