The Penguin Dictionary of Economics (Penguin reference)

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9780140512557: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics (Penguin reference)

This is the fifth edition of this dictionary which is designed as a reference for all students and professionals in the field of economics.

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CANTILLON, RICHARD (1680 - 1734)

An Irish international banker who wrote Essai sur la nature du commerce en general, which was not published until 1755 but had circulated from about 1730. This work was one of the first synoptic descriptions and analyses of the economic process. His views on the importance of agriculture, based on its recipient of pure RENT, and his analysis of the circulation of wealth, foreshadowed the PHYSIOCRATS and the Tableau economique, respectively.

INTERNATIONAL LIQUIDITY

The amount of gold, RESERVE CURRENCIES and SPECIAL DRAWING RIGHTS available for the finance of international trade. Broadly, if sufficient reserves were not available, a fall in prices and world trade would follow (QUANTITY THEORY of money). Gold has lost some of its appeal as a reserve asset in a world of comparatively low inflation. Preference is given to the holding of interest-bearing assets denominated in stable reserve currencies such as the US dollar, the euro, Japanese yen and sterling.

SPECULATIVE BUBBLE

A deviation between the price of an asset in the market, and the price justified by the inherent value of the asset, sustained by a belief on behalf of buyers that they will be able to sell at an inflated price. The interesting thing about a bubble is that, as long as everyone believes in it, the bubble need not burst. The price can indefinitely deviate from fundamental value. While some have suggested bubbles are a sign of irrationality in the financial markets, creating more variability in the price of assets than is merited by fundamental swings in values, attempts have been made to account for them as rational phenomena.

About the Author:

Evan Davies is BBC economics editor. Graham Bannock runs his own economic research and consulting company in London. Ron Baxter is a director of economics consultants Baxter Eadier Ltd.

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