Monday, May 21, 2007

Money

Money is any good or token that functions as a medium of exchange that is generally and legally accepted in payment for goods and services and in settlement of debts. Money also serves as a standard of value for measuring the relative worth of different goods and services. Some authors openly require money to be a standard of deferred payment.Money is one of the most central topics studied in economics and forms its most cogent link to finance.

In common usage, money refers more specially to currency, particularly the many circulating currencies with legal tender status conferred by a national state; deposit accounts denominated in such currencies are also considered part of the money supply, although these characteristics are in the past comparatively recent. Money may also serve as a means of rationing access to scarce resources and as a quantitative measure that provides a common standard for the comparison and valuation of quality as well as quantity, such as in the valuation of real estate or artistic works.

The use of money provides an easier option to barter, which is considered in a modern, complex economy to be incompetent because it requires a coincidence of wants between traders, and an agreement that these needs are of equal value, before a transaction can occur. The efficiency gains through the use of money are thought to encourage trade and the division of labour, in turn increasing productivity and wealth.

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