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Introduction

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.

Selected article

Earl William "Madman" Muntz (January 3, 1914 – June 21, 1987) was an American businessman and engineer who sold and promoted cars and consumer electronics in the United States from the 1930s until his death in 1987. He was a pioneer in television commercials with his oddball "Madman" persona – an alter ego who generated publicity with his unusual costumes, stunts, and outrageous claims. Muntz also pioneered car stereos by creating the Muntz Stereo-Pak, better known as the 4-track cartridge, a predecessor to the 8-track cartridge developed by Lear Industries.

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1933 double eagle coin
Photo credit: User:293.xx.xxx.xx

The 1933 double eagle is a United States 20-dollar gold coin. Although 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted in 1933 none were ever officially circulated and all but two were melted down. Supposedly, 20 found their way into the hands of collectors, but 19 of these were subsequently seized or voluntarily turned in to the Secret Service, who destroyed nine of them, making this one of the world's rarest coins. Five are still missing out of the 20.

Selected economy

Business storefront signs in downtown Baghdad, Iraq in April 2005
...The Economy of Iraq is dominated by the petroleum sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran led the government to implement austerity measures, borrow heavily, and later reschedule foreign debt payments; Iraq suffered economic losses of at least $100 billion from the war. After the end of hostilities in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged facilities.

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, subsequent international sanctions, and damage from military action by an international coalition beginning in January 1991 drastically reduced economic activity. Government policies of diverting income to key supporters of the regime while sustaining a large military and internal security force further impaired finances, leaving the average Iraqi citizen facing desperate hardships. Implementation of the UN oil-for-food program in December 1996 improved conditions for the average Iraqi citizen. Since 1999, Iraq was authorized to export unlimited quantities of oil to finance humanitarian needs including food, medicine, and infrastructure repair parts. Oil exports fluctuate as the regime alternately starts and stops exports, but, in general, oil exports have now reached three-quarters of their pre-Gulf War levels; per capital output and living standards remain well below pre-Gulf War levels.

The economic sanctions were fully lifted on 24 May 2003, shortly after Saddam Hussein Hussein was overthrown. This resulted in economic growth of 53% topping the list of the world's fastest growing economy.Paul Bremer, chief executive of Iraq, planned to restructure Iraq's state owned economy with free market thinking. Order 39 laid out the framework for full privatization in Iraq, except for "primary extraction and initial processing" of oil, and permitted 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi assets. Paul Bremer also ordered a flat tax rate of 15% and allowed foreign corporations to repatriate all profits earned in Iraq. Opposition from senior Iraqi officials, together with the poor security situation, meant that Bremer's privatization plan was not implemented during his tenure, though his orders remain in place. In addition to approximately 200 other state-owned businesses, privatization of the oil industry was scheduled to begin sometime in late 2005, though it is opposed by the Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq.

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"We close this chapter with a hint on the next discussion of resistance to randomness. Recall that Nero can be considered prosperous but not "very rich" by his day's standards. However, according to some strange accounting measure we will see in the next chapter, he is extremely rich on the average of lives he could have led-he takes so little risk in his trading career that there could have been very few disastrous outcomes. The fact that he did not experience John's success was the reason he did not suffer his downfall. He would be therefore wealthy according to this unusual (and probabilistic) method of accounting for wealth. Recall that Nero protects himself from the rare event. Had Nero had to relive his professional life a few million times, very few sample paths would be marred by bad luck-but, owning to his conservatism, very few as well would be affected by extreme good luck. That is, his life in stability would be similar to that an ecclesiastic clock repair-man. Naturally, we are discussing only his professional life, excluding his (sometimes volatile) private life.

Arguably, in expectation, a dentist is considerably richer than the rock musician who is driven in a pink Rolls Royce, the speculator who bids up the price of impressionist paintings, or the entrepreneur who collects private jets. For one cannot consider a profession without taking into account the average of the people who enter it, not the sample of those who have succeeded in it. We will examine the point later from the vantage point of the survivorship bias, but here, in Part I, we will look at it with respect to resistance to randomness."

Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness, 2001

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  • ... 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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