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Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.

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A postcard dated July 12, 1907 showing the New Orleans Mint

The New Orleans Mint operated as a branch of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over US$307 million. It was closed during most of the American Civil War and the period called Reconstruction. After its decommissioning as a mint, the building served a variety of purposes, including as an assay office, a United States Coast Guard storage facility, and a fallout shelter. Since 1981 it has served as a branch of the Louisiana State Museum. As of August 2006 it is closed to the public pending repairs following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The New Orleans Mint has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is currently the oldest surviving structure to have served as a U.S. Mint. Along with the Charlotte Mint, it is one of two former mint facilities in the United States to house an art gallery.

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European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany
Photo credit: Dontworry

The European Central Bank (ECB) is one of the world's most important central banks, responsible for monetary policy covering the 15 member countries of the Eurozone. It was established by the European Union (EU) in 1998 with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

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"The world economy, like the economy of a single country, can be visualized as a system of interdependent processes. Each process, be it the manufacture of steel, the education of youth or the running of a family household, generates certain outputs and absorbs a specific combination of inputs. Direct interdependence between two processes arises whenever the output of one becomes an input of the other: coal, the output of the coal mining industry, is an input of the electric power generating sector. The chemical industry uses coal not only directly as a raw material but also indirectly in the form of electrical power. A network of such links constitutes a system of elements which depend upon each other directly, indirectly or both. The state of a particular economic system can be conveniently described in the form of a two-way input-output table showing the flows of goods and services among its different sectors, and to and from processes or entities (“value added” and “final demand”) viewed as falling outside the conventional borders of an input-output system. As the scope of the inquiry expands, new rows and columns are added to the table and some of the external inflows and outflows become internalized. Increasing the number of rows and columns that describe an economic system also permits a more detailed description of economic activities commonly described in highly aggregative terms."

Wassily Leontief, Structure of the World Economy, 1973

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photo of a large brown snail with white markings on its shell
  • ... that at the time of her completion in 1918, American cargo ship West Lianga held the distinction of being both the fastest-launched and the fastest-constructed ocean-going ship in the world?

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