Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. The company was formed by the merger of banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group in 1998. Citigroup owns Citicorp, the holding company for Citibank, as well as several international subsidiaries. Citigroup is ranked 3rd on the list of largest banks in the United States and, alongside JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, it is one of the Big Four banks of the United States, it is a systemically important financial institution and is on the list of systemically important banks that are too big to fail. It is one of the nine global investment banks in the Bulge Bracket. Citigroup is ranked 32nd on the Fortune 500 as of 2018. Citigroup does business in more than 160 countries, it has 214,000 employees, although it had 357,000 employees before the financial crisis of 2007-2008, when it was rescued via a massive stimulus package by the U.
S. government. Citigroup is the holding company for the following divisions: Inc.. Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Japan - broker dealers, including one of 24 primary dealers in United States Treasury securities. Citi's Institutional Clients Group offers investment and corporate banking services and products for companies, governments and ultra high-net-worth investors. ICG consists of the following five main divisions:Capital Markets Origination is focused on the capital-raising needs such as public offerings, private placements, special purpose acquisition companies. Corporate & Investment Banking provides strategic and financing products and advisory services to multinational and local corporations, financial institutions and held businesses in more than 160 countries, it provides client services such as mergers & acquisitions advice and underwriting of initial public offerings. Markets & Securities Services includes investor services and direct custody and clearing, hedge fund and private equity servicing, issuer businesses.
It provides financial products through underwriting, sales & trading of a range of investment assets. Products offered include servicing of equities, credit, foreign exchange, emerging markets, G10 rates, prime finance/brokerage services, securitized markets, such as collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed securities, its Citi Research team provides equity and fixed income research, sector and geographic market analysis, product-specific analysis for Citi's individual and institutional clients. Its flagship research reports include the following: Portfolio Strategist, Bond Market Roundup, U. S. Economics Weekly, International Market Roundup, Global Economic Outlook & Strategy and the Global Equity Strategist. Citi Private Bank advises professional investors, ultra high-net-worth individuals and families, lawyers throughout the world, it uses an open architecture network of more than 800 private bankers and investment professionals across 46 countries and jurisdictions to provide clients access to global investment opportunities.
It has over $250 billion in assets under management. The minimum net worth requirement is $25 million in liquid assets and is waived for only law firm groups and other clients under special circumstances. Treasury and Trade Solutions provides cash management and securities services to companies and other institutions in the U. S. and more than 140 countries. TTS intermediates more than $3 trillion in global transactions daily, it has over $13 trillion assets under custody, about $377 billion in average liability balances, serves 99% of world's Fortune 100 companies and ~85% of the world's Fortune 500 companies, has 10 regional processing centers worldwide using global processes. Institutions use TTS to support their treasury operations with global solutions for payments, collections and investments by working in partnership with export credit agencies and development banks, it sells supply chain financing products as well as medium- and long-term global financing programs across multiple industries.
Clients doing business with Citi in 10 or more countries generate more than 60% of Transaction Services' total revenues. Grupo Financiero Banamex - the second largest bank in Mexico, it serves about 20 million clients. Citicorp - the holding company for Citibank as well as several international banks. Citicorp contains Global Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. Citibank Retail banking encompasses Citi's global branch network, branded Citibank. Citibank holds more than $300 billion in deposits. Citibank is the 4th largest retail bank in the United States based on deposits, it has Citibank branded branches in countries throughout the world, with the exception of Mexico, under a separate subsidiary called Banamex. Citibank offers checking and savings accounts, small business and commercial banking and personal wealth management among its services. Citibank offers Citigold services worldwide to mass affluent clients with at least US$200,000 in liquid assets. In certain markets, Citigold Select is available for clients with at least US$500,000 in liquid assets.
Its highest level of service, Citigold Private Client, is for high-net-worth individuals with at least $1–$3 million in liquid assets and offers access to investments and ideas from Citi Private Bank. Citi Branded Cards is the world's largest credit card issuer. Citi Retail Services is one of the largest prov
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they comprise the New World. Along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earth's total surface area and 28.4% of its land area. The topography is dominated by the American Cordillera, a long chain of mountains that runs the length of the west coast; the flatter eastern side of the Americas is dominated by large river basins, such as the Amazon, St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes basin, La Plata. Since the Americas extend 14,000 km from north to south, the climate and ecology vary from the arctic tundra of Northern Canada and Alaska, to the tropical rain forests in Central America and South America. Humans first settled the Americas from Asia between 17,000 years ago. A second migration of Na-Dene speakers followed from Asia; the subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The first known European settlement in the Americas was by the Norse explorer Leif Erikson.
However, the colonization never became permanent and was abandoned. The Spanish voyages of Christopher Columbus from 1492 to 1502 resulted in permanent contact with European powers, which led to the Columbian exchange and inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization whose effects and consequences persist to the present. Diseases introduced from Europe and West Africa devastated the indigenous peoples, the European powers colonized the Americas. Mass emigration from Europe, including large numbers of indentured servants, importation of African slaves replaced the indigenous peoples. Decolonization of the Americas began with the American Revolution in the 1770s and ended with the Spanish–American War in the late 1890s. All of the population of the Americas resides in independent countries; the Americas are home to over a billion inhabitants, two-thirds of which reside in the United States, Brazil, or Mexico. It is home to eight megacities: New York City, Mexico City, São Paulo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, Lima.
The name America was first recorded in 1507. Christie's auction house says a two-dimensional globe created by Martin Waldseemüller was the earliest recorded use of the term; the name was used in the Cosmographiae Introductio written by Matthias Ringmann, in reference to South America. It was applied to both North and South America by Gerardus Mercator in 1538. America derives from the Latin version of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci's first name; the feminine form America accorded with the feminine names of Asia and Europa. In modern English and South America are considered separate continents, taken together are called America or the Americas in the plural; when conceived as a unitary continent, the form is the continent of America in the singular. However, without a clarifying context, singular America in English refers to the United States of America. In the English-speaking world, the term America used to refer to a single continent until the 1950s: According to historians Kären Wigen and Martin W. Lewis, While it might seem surprising to find North and South America still joined into a single continent in a book published in the United States in 1937, such a notion remained common until World War II.
By the 1950s, however all American geographers had come to insist that the visually distinct landmasses of North and South America deserved separate designations. This shift did not seem to happen in Romance-speaking countries, where America is still considered a continent encompassing the North America and South America subcontinents, as well as Central America; the first inhabitants migrated into the Americas from Asia. Habitation sites are known in Alaska and the Yukon from at least 20,000 years ago, with suggested ages of up to 40,000 years. Beyond that, the specifics of the Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. Widespread habitation of the Americas occurred during the late glacial maximum, from 16,000 to 13,000 years ago; the traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into the Beringia land bridge between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska around 40,000–17,000 years ago, when sea levels were lowered during the Quaternary glaciation.
These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Another route proposed is that, either on foot or using primitive boats, they migrated down the Pacific coast to South America. Evidence of the latter would since have been covered by a sea level rise of hundreds of meters following the last ice age. Both routes may have
Private equity in the 2000s
Private equity in the 2000s relates to one of the major periods in the history of private equity and venture capital. Within the broader private equity industry, two distinct sub-industries, leveraged buyouts and venture capital experienced growth along parallel although interrelated tracks; the development of the private equity and venture capital asset classes has occurred through a series of boom and bust cycles since the middle of the 20th century. As the 20th century ended, so, did the dot-com bubble and the tremendous growth in venture capital that had marked the previous five years. In the wake of the collapse of the dot-com bubble, a new "Golden Age" of private equity ensued, as leveraged buyouts reach unparalleled size and the private equity firms achieved new levels of scale and institutionalization, exemplified by the initial public offering of the Blackstone Group in 2007; the Nasdaq crash and technology slump that started in March 2000 shook the entire venture capital industry as valuations for startup technology companies collapsed.
Over the next two years, many venture firms had been forced to write-off large proportions of their investments and many funds were "under water". Venture capital investors sought to reduce size of commitments they had made to venture capital funds and in numerous instances, investors sought to unload existing commitments for cents on the dollar in the secondary market. By mid-2003, the venture capital industry had shriveled to about half its 2001 capacity. PricewaterhouseCoopers' MoneyTree Survey shows that total venture capital investments held steady at 2003 levels through the second quarter of 2005. Although the post-boom years represent just a small fraction of the peak levels of venture investment reached in 2000, they still represent an increase over the levels of investment from 1980 through 1995; as a percentage of GDP, venture investment was 0.058% percent in 1994, peaked at 1.087% in 2000 and ranged from 0.164% to 0.182% in 2003 and 2004. The revival of an Internet-driven environment have helped to revive the venture capital environment.
However, as a percentage of the overall private equity market, venture capital has still not reached its mid-1990s level, let alone its peak in 2000. Meanwhile, as the venture sector collapsed, the activity in the leveraged buyout market declined significantly. Leveraged buyout firms had invested in the telecommunications sector from 1996 to 2000 and profited from the boom which fizzled in 2001. In that year at least 27 major telecommunications companies, filed for bankruptcy protection. Telecommunications, which made up a large portion of the overall high yield universe of issuers, dragged down the entire high yield market. Overall corporate default rates surged to levels unseen since the 1990 market collapse rising to 6.3% of high yield issuance in 2000 and 8.9% of issuance in 2001. Default rates on junk bonds peaked at 10.7 percent in January 2002 according to Moody's. As a result, leveraged buyout activity ground to a halt; the major collapses of former high-fliers including WorldCom, Adelphia Communications, Global Crossing and Winstar Communications were among the most notable defaults in the market.
In addition to the high rate of default, many investors lamented the low recovery rates achieved through restructuring or bankruptcy. Among the most affected by the bursting of the internet and telecom bubbles were two of the largest and most active private equity firms of the 1990s: Tom Hicks' Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and Ted Forstmann's Forstmann Little & Company; these firms were cited as the highest profile private equity casualties, having invested in technology and telecommunications companies. Hicks Muse's reputation and market position were both damaged by the loss of over $1 billion from minority investments in six telecommunications and 13 Internet companies at the peak of the 1990s stock market bubble. Forstmann suffered major losses from investments in McLeodUSA and XO Communications. Tom Hicks resigned from Hicks Muse at the end of 2004 and Forstmann Little was unable to raise a new fund; the treasure of the State of Connecticut, sued Forstmann Little to return the state's $96 million investment to that point and to cancel the commitment it made to take its total investment to $200 million.
The humbling of these private equity titans could hardly have been predicted by their investors in the 1990s and forced fund investors to conduct due diligence on fund managers more and include greater controls on investments in partnership agreements. Deals completed during this period tended to be smaller and financed less with high yield debt than in other periods. Private equity firms had to cobble together financing made up of bank loans and mezzanine debt with higher equity contributions than had been seen. Private equity firms benefited from the lower valuation multiples; as a result, despite the limited activity, those funds that invested during the adverse market conditions delivered attractive returns to investors. Meanwhile, in Europe LBO activity began to increase. In 2001, for the first time, European buyout activity exceeded US activity with $44 billion of deals completed in Europe as compared with just $10.7 billion of deals completed in the US. This was a function of the fact that just six LBOs in excess of $500 million were completed in 2001, against 27 in 2000.
As investors sought to reduce their exposure to the private equi
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is an association established on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. To the general public, the FIA is known as the governing body for many auto racing events; the FIA promotes road safety around the world. Headquartered at 8 Place de la Concorde, the FIA consists of 246 member organisations in 145 countries worldwide, its current president is Jean Todt. The FIA is known by its French name or initials in non-French-speaking countries, but is rendered as International Automobile Federation, its most prominent role is in the licensing and sanctioning of Formula One, World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship and various forms of sports car and touring car racing. The FIA along with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme certify land speed record attempts; the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the federation in 2011, granted full recognition in 2013. The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus was founded in Paris on 20 June 1904, as an association of national motor clubs.
The association was designed to represent the interests of motor car users, as well as to oversee the burgeoning international motor sport scene. In 1922, the AIACR delegated the organisation of automobile racing to the Commission Sportive Internationale, which would set the regulations for international Grand Prix motor racing; the European Drivers' Championship was introduced in 1931, a title awarded to the driver with the best results in the selected Grands Prix. Upon the resumption of motor racing after the Second World War, the AIACR was renamed the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the FIA established a number of new racing categories, among them Formulas One and Two, created the first World Championship, the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, in 1950. The CSI determined the regulations for holding Grands Prix and selected the races that formed part of the World Championships – a World Sportscar Championship was established in 1953 – but the organisers of the individual races were responsible for accepting entries, paying prize money, the general running of each event.
In Formula One, this led to tension between the teams, which formed themselves into the Formula One Constructors Association founded in 1974, event organisers and the CSI. The FIA and CSI were amateur organisations, FOCA under the control of Bernie Ecclestone began to take charge of various aspects of organising the events, as well as setting terms with race organisers for the arrival of teams and the amount of prize money; this led to the FIA President Prince Metternich attempting to reassert its authority by appointing Jean-Marie Balestre as the head of the CSI, who promptly reformed the committee into the autonomous Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile. Under Balestre's leadership FISA and the manufacturer-backed teams became involved in a dispute with FOCA; the conflict saw several races being cancelled or boycotted, large-scale disagreement over the technical regulations and their enforcement. The dispute and the Concorde Agreement, written to end it, would have significant ramifications for the FIA.
The agreement led to FOCA acquiring commercial rights over Formula One, while FISA and the FIA would have control over sport's regulations. FOCA chief Bernie Ecclestone became an FIA Vice-President with control over promoting the FIA's World Championships, while FOCA legal advisor and former March Engineering manager Max Mosley would end up becoming FISA President in 1991. Mosley succeeded Balestre as President of the FIA in 1993 and restructured the organisation, dissolving FISA and placing motor racing under the direct management of the FIA. Following the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, the FIA formed an Expert Advisory Safety Committee to research and improve safety in motor racing. Chaired by Formula One medical chief Professor Sid Watkins, the committee worked with the Motor Industry Research Association to strengthen the crash resistance of cars and the restraint systems and to improve the drivers personal safety; the recommendations of the committee led to more stringent crash tests for racing vehicles, new safety standards for helmets and race suits, the eventual introduction of the HANS device as compulsory in all international racing series.
The committee worked on improving circuit safety. This led to a number of changes at motor racing circuits around the world, the improvement of crash barriers and trackside medical procedures; the FIA was a founder member of the European New Car Assessment Programme, a car safety programme that crash-tests new models and publishes safety reports on vehicles. Mosley was the first chairman of the organisation; the FIA helped establish the Latin NCAP and Global NCAP. The Competition Directorate of the European Commission and the FIA were involved in a dispute over the commercial administration of motorsport during the 1990s; the Competition Commissioner, Karel Van Miert had received a number of complaints from television companies and motorsport promoters in 1997 that the FIA had been abusing its position as motorsport's governing body. Van Miert's initial inquiry had not concluded by 1999, which resulted in the FIA suing the European Commission, alleging that the delay was causing damaging uncertainty, receiving an apology from the Commission over the leaking of documents relating to the case.
Mario Monti took over as Commissioner in 1999, the European
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion