Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC is an American financial services company. It is a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and commodities. S&P is known for its stock market indices such as the U. S.-based S&P 500, the Canadian S&P/TSX, the Australian S&P/ASX 200. S&P is considered one of the Big Three credit-rating agencies, which include Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, its head office is located on 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The company traces its history back to 1860, with the publication by Henry Varnum Poor of History of Railroads and Canals in the United States; this book compiled comprehensive information about the financial and operational state of U. S. railroad companies. In 1868, Henry Varnum Poor established H. V. and H. W. Poor Co. with his son, Henry William Poor, published two annually updated hardback guidebooks, Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States and Poor's Directory of Railway Officials.
In 1906, Luther Lee Blake founded the Standard Statistics Bureau, with the view to providing financial information on non-railroad companies. Instead of an annually published book, Standard Statistics would use 5-by-7-inch cards, allowing for more frequent updates. In 1941, Paul Talbot Babson purchased Poor's Publishing and merged it with Standard Statistics to become Standard & Poor's Corp. In 1966, the company was acquired by The McGraw-Hill Companies, extending McGraw-Hill into the field of financial information services; as a credit-rating agency, the company issues credit ratings for the debt of public and private companies, other public borrowers such as governments and governmental entities. It is one of several CRAs that have been designated a nationally recognized statistical rating organization by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. S&P issues both short-term and long-term credit ratings. Below is a partial list; the company rates borrowers on a scale from AAA to D. Intermediate ratings are offered at each level between AA and CCC.
For some borrowers, the company may offer guidance as to whether it is to be upgraded, downgraded or uncertain. Investment Grade AAA: An obligor rated'AAA' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.'AAA' is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by Standard & Poor's. AA: An obligor rated'AA' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments, it differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree. Includes: AA+: equivalent to Moody's Aa1 AA: equivalent to Aa2 AA−: equivalent to Aa3 A: An obligor rated'A' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories. A+: equivalent to A1 A: equivalent to A2 BBB: An obligor rated'BBB' has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments.
Non-Investment Grade BB: An obligor rated'BB' is less vulnerable in the near term than other lower-rated obligors. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties and exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. B: An obligor rated'B' is more vulnerable than the obligors rated'BB', but the obligor has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments. CCC: An obligor rated'CCC' is vulnerable, is dependent upon favorable business and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments. CC: An obligor rated'CC' is highly vulnerable. C: vulnerable in bankruptcy or in arrears but still continuing to pay out on obligations R: An obligor rated'R' is under regulatory supervision owing to its financial condition. During the pendency of the regulatory supervision, the regulators may have the power to favor one class of obligations over others or pay some obligations and not others.
SD: has selectively defaulted on some obligations D: has defaulted on obligations and S&P believes that it will default on most or all obligations NR: not rated The company rates specific issues on a scale from A-1 to D. Within the A-1 category it can be designated with a plus sign; this indicates that the issuer's commitment to meet its obligation is strong. Country risk and currency of repayment of the obligor to meet the issue obligation are factored into the credit analysis and reflected in the issue rating. A-1: obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong A-2: is susceptible to adverse economic conditions however the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory A-3: adverse economic conditions are to weaken the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation B: has significant speculative characteristics; the obligor has the capacity to meet its financial obligation but faces major ongoing uncertainties that could impact its financial commitment on the obligation C: vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation D: is in payment default.
Lumber or timber is a type of wood, processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well. There are two main types of lumber, it may be surfaced on one or more of its faces. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture-making and other items requiring additional cutting and shaping, it is available in many species hardwoods. Finished lumber is supplied in standard sizes for the construction industry – softwood, from coniferous species, including pine and spruce, hemlock, but some hardwood, for high-grade flooring, it is more made from softwood than hardwoods, 80% of lumber comes from softwood. In the United States milled boards of wood are referred to as lumber. However, in Britain and other Commonwealth nations, the term timber is instead used to describe sawn wood products, like floor boards. In the United States and Canada timber describes standing or felled trees. In Canada, lumber describes cut and surfaced wood.
In the United Kingdom, the word lumber is used in relation to wood and has several other meanings, including unused or unwanted items. Referring to wood, Timber is universally used instead. Remanufactured lumber is the result of secondary or tertiary processing/cutting of milled lumber, it is lumber cut for industrial or wood-packaging use. Lumber is cut by ripsaw or resaw to create dimensions that are not processed by a primary sawmill. Resawing is the splitting of 1-inch through 12-inch hardwood or softwood lumber into two or more thinner pieces of full-length boards. For example, splitting a ten-foot 2×4 into two ten-foot 1×4s is considered resawing. Structural lumber may be produced from recycled plastic and new plastic stock, its introduction has been opposed by the forestry industry. Blending fiberglass in plastic lumber enhances its strength and fire resistance. Plastic fiberglass structural lumber can have a "class 1 flame spread rating of 25 or less, when tested in accordance with ASTM standard E 84," which means it burns slower than all treated wood lumber.
Logs are converted into timber by being hewn, or split. Sawing with a rip saw is the most common method, because sawing allows logs of lower quality, with irregular grain and large knots, to be used and is more economical. There are various types of sawing: Plain sawn – A log sawn through without adjusting the position of the log and the grain runs across the width of the boards. Quarter sawn and rift sawn – These terms have been confused in history but mean lumber sawn so the annual rings are reasonably perpendicular to the sides of the lumber. Boxed heart – The pith remains within the piece with some allowance for exposure. Heart center – the center core of a log. Free of heart center – A side-cut timber without any pith. Free of knots – No knots are present. Dimensional lumber is lumber, cut to standardized width and depth, specified in inches. Carpenters extensively use dimensional lumber in framing wooden buildings. Common sizes include 2×4, 2×6, 4×4; the length of a board is specified separately from the width and depth.
It is thus possible to find 2×4s that are four and twelve feet in length. In Canada and the United States, the standard lengths of lumber are 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 feet. For wall framing, "stud" or "precut" sizes are available, are used. For an eight-, nine-, or ten-foot ceiling height, studs are available in 92 5⁄8 inches, 104 5⁄8 inches, 116 5⁄8 inches; the term "stud" is used inconsistently to specify length. Under the prescription of the Method of Construction issued by the Southern Song government in the early 12th century, timbers were standardized to eight cross-sectional dimensions. Regardless of the actual dimensions of the timber, the ratio between width and height was maintained at 1:1.5. Units are in Song Dynasty inches. Timber smaller than the 8th class were called "unclassed"; the width of a timber is referred to as one "timber", the dimensions of other structural components were quoted in multiples of "timber". The dimensions of timbers in similar application show a gradual diminution from the Sui Dyansty to the modern era.
The length of a unit of dimensional lumber is limited by the height and girth of the tree it is milled from. In general the maximum length is 24 ft. Engineered wood products, manufactured by binding the strands, fibers, or veneers of wood, together with adhesives, to form composite materials, offer more flexibility and greater structural strength than typical wood building materials. Pre-cut studs save a framer much time, because they are pre-cut by the manufacturer for use in 8-, 9-
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Gabon the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, the Gulf of Guinea to the west, it has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Since its independence from France in 1960, the sovereign state of Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 7th highest HDI and the fourth highest GDP per capita in the region. GDP grew by more than 6% per year from 2010 to 2012. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.
Gabon's name originates from gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples, they were replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated. In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. By the 18th century, a Myeni speaking kingdom known as Orungu formed in Gabon. On February 10, 1722, Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate known as Black Bart, died at sea off Cape Lopez, he raided ships off the Americas and West Africa from 1719 to 1722. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875, he founded the town of Franceville, was colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area, now Gabon when France occupied it in 1885. In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. In World War II, the Allies invaded Gabon in order to overthrow the pro-Vichy France colonial administration.
The territories of French Equatorial Africa became independent on August 17, 1960. The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president. After M'ba's accession to power, the press was suppressed, political demonstrations banned, freedom of expression curtailed, other political parties excluded from power, the Constitution changed along French lines to vest power in the Presidency, a post that M'ba assumed himself. However, when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power. After a few days of fighting, the coup ended and the opposition was imprisoned, despite widespread protests and riots. French soldiers still remain in the Camp de Gaulle on the outskirts of Gabon's capital to this day; when M'Ba died in 1967, Bongo replaced him as president. In March 1968, Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party—the Parti Democratique Gabonais.
He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation. Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies, using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that had divided Gabonese politics in the past. Bongo was elected President in February 1975. Bongo was November 1986 to 7-year terms. In early 1990 economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers. In response to grievances by workers, Bongo negotiated with them on a sector-by-sector basis, making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system; the PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.
The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, cancellation of an exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oye-Mba; the Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping, as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991. Opposition to the PDG continued after the April 1990 conference, in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted.
Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almo
Senegal the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal borders The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar; the unitary semi-presidential republic is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia, owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. Senegal covers a land area of 197,000 square kilometres and has an estimated population of about 15 million; the climate is Sahelian, though there is a rainy season. From a Portuguese transliteration of the name of the Zenaga known as the Sanhaja, or a combination of the supreme deity in Serer religion and o gal meaning body of water in the Serer language.
Alternatively, the name could derive from the Wolof phrase "Sunuu Gaal," which means "our boat." The territory of modern Senegal has been inhabited by various ethnic groups since prehistory. Organized kingdoms emerged around the seventh century, parts of the country were ruled by prominent regional empires such as the Jolof Empire; the present state of Senegal has its roots in European colonialism, which began during the mid-15th century, when various European powers began competing for trade in the area. The establishment of coastal trading posts led to control of the mainland, culminating in French rule of the area by the 19th century, albeit amid much local resistance. Senegal peacefully attained independence from France in 1960, has since been among the more politically stable countries in Africa. Senegal's economy is centered on commodities and natural resources. Major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials, ship construction and repair.
As in most African nations, agriculture is a major sector, with Senegal producing several important cash crops, including peanuts, cotton, green beans, tomatoes and mangoes. Owing to its relative stability and hospitality are burgeoning sectors. With it being a multiethnic and secular nation, Senegal is predominantly Sunni Muslim with Sufi and animist influences. French is the official language, although many native languages are recognized. Since April 2012, Senegal's president has been Macky Sall. Senegal has been a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie since 1970. Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups; some kingdoms were created around the 7th century: Takrur in the 9th century and the Jolof Empire during the 13th and 14th centuries. Eastern Senegal was once part of the Ghana Empire. Islam was introduced through Toucouleur and Soninke contact with the Almoravid dynasty of the Maghreb, who in turn propagated it with the help of the Almoravids, Toucouleur allies.
This movement faced resistance from ethnicities of the Serers in particular. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the empires to the east. In the Senegambia region, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved as a result of captives taken in warfare. In the 14th century the Jolof Empire grew more powerful, having united Cayor and the kingdoms of Baol, Saloum, Futa Tooro and Bambouk, or much of present-day West Africa; the empire was a voluntary confederacy of various states rather than an empire built on military conquest. The empire was founded by Ndiadiane Ndiaye, a part Serer and part Toucouleur, able to form a coalition with many ethnicities, but collapsed around 1549 with the defeat and killing of Lele Fouli Fak by Amari Ngone Sobel Fall. In the mid-15th century, the Portuguese landed on the Senegal coastline, followed by traders representing other countries, including the French. Various European powers—Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain—competed for trade in the area from the 15th century onward.
In 1677, France gained control of what had become a minor departure point in the Atlantic slave trade—the island of Gorée next to modern Dakar, used as a base to purchase slaves from the warring chiefdoms on the mainland. European missionaries introduced Christianity to the Casamance in the 19th century, it was only in the 1850s that the French began to expand onto the Senegalese mainland after they abolished slavery and began promoting an abolitionist doctrine, adding native kingdoms like the Waalo, Cayor and Jolof Empire. French colonists progressively invaded and took over all the kingdoms except Sine and Saloum under Governor Louis Faidherbe. Yoro Dyao was in command of the canton of Foss-Galodjina and was set over Wâlo by Louis Faidherbe, where he served as a chief from 1861 to 1914. Senegalese resistance to the French expansion and curtailing of their lucrative slave trade was led in part by Lat-Dior, Damel of Cayor, Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof, the Maad a Sinig of Sine, resulting in the Battle of Logandème.
On 4 April 1959 Senegal and the French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became independent on 20 June 1960, as a result of a transfer of power agreement signed with France on 4 April 1960. Due to internal political difficulties, the Federation broke up on 20 August, when
In economics, inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys services; the measure of inflation is the inflation rate, the annualized percentage change in a general price index the consumer price index, over time. The opposite of inflation is deflation. Inflation affects economies in various negative ways; the negative effects of inflation include an increase in the opportunity cost of holding money, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, if inflation were rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include reducing unemployment due to nominal wage rigidity, allowing the central bank more leeway in carrying out monetary policy, encouraging loans and investment instead of money hoarding, avoiding the inefficiencies associated with deflation.
Economists believe that the high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth. Today, most economists favor a steady rate of inflation. Low inflation reduces the severity of economic recessions by enabling the labor market to adjust more in a downturn, reduces the risk that a liquidity trap prevents monetary policy from stabilizing the economy; the task of keeping the rate of inflation low and stable is given to monetary authorities. These monetary authorities are the central banks that control monetary policy through the setting of interest rates, through open market operations, through the setting of banking reserve requirements.
Rapid increases in the quantity of money or in the overall money supply have occurred in many different societies throughout history, changing with different forms of money used. For instance, when gold was used as currency, the government could collect gold coins, melt them down, mix them with other metals such as silver, copper, or lead, reissue them at the same nominal value. By diluting the gold with other metals, the government could issue more coins without increasing the amount of gold used to make them; when the cost of each coin is lowered in this way, the government profits from an increase in seigniorage. This practice would increase the money supply but at the same time the relative value of each coin would be lowered; as the relative value of the coins becomes lower, consumers would need to give more coins in exchange for the same goods and services as before. These goods and services would experience a price increase. Song Dynasty China introduced the practice of printing paper money to create fiat currency.
During the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, the government spent a great deal of money fighting costly wars, reacted by printing more money, leading to inflation. Fearing the inflation that plagued the Yuan dynasty, the Ming Dynasty rejected the use of paper money, reverted to using copper coins. Large infusions of gold or silver into an economy led to inflation. From the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 17th, Western Europe experienced a major inflationary cycle referred to as the "price revolution", with prices on average rising sixfold over 150 years; this was caused by the sudden influx of gold and silver from the New World into Habsburg Spain. The silver spread throughout a cash-starved Europe and caused widespread inflation. Demographic factors contributed to upward pressure on prices, with European population growth after depopulation caused by the Black Death pandemic. By the nineteenth century, economists categorized three separate factors that cause a rise or fall in the price of goods: a change in the value or production costs of the good, a change in the price of money, a fluctuation in the commodity price of the metallic content in the currency, currency depreciation resulting from an increased supply of currency relative to the quantity of redeemable metal backing the currency.
Following the proliferation of private banknote currency printed during the American Civil War, the term "inflation" started to appear as a direct reference to the currency depreciation that occurred as the quantity of redeemable banknotes outstripped the quantity of metal available for their redemption. At that time, the term inflation referred to the devaluation of the currency, not to a rise in the price of goods; this relationship between the over-supply of banknotes and a resulting depreciation in their value was noted by earlier classical economists such as David Hume and David Ricardo, who would go on to examine and debate what effect a currency devaluation has on the price of goods. The adoption of fiat currency by many countries, from the 18th century onwards, made much larger variations in the supply of money possible. Rapid increases in the money supply have taken place a number of times in countries experiencing political crises, produ
Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or a tup, a castrated male as a wether, a younger sheep as a lamb. Sheep are most descended from the wild mouflon of Europe and Asia. One of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes, sheep are raised for fleeces and milk. A sheep's wool is the most used animal fiber, is harvested by shearing. Ovine meat is called lamb when from younger animals and mutton when from older ones in Commonwealth countries, lamb in the United States. Sheep continue to be important for wool and meat today, are occasionally raised for pelts, as dairy animals, or as model organisms for science.
Sheep husbandry is practised throughout the majority of the inhabited world, has been fundamental to many civilizations. In the modern era, New Zealand, the southern and central South American nations, the British Isles are most associated with sheep production. Sheepraising has a large lexicon of unique terms which vary by region and dialect. Use of the word sheep began in Middle English as a derivation of the Old English word scēap. A group of sheep is called a herd or mob. Many other specific terms for the various life stages of sheep exist related to lambing and age. Being a key animal in the history of farming, sheep have a entrenched place in human culture, find representation in much modern language and symbology; as livestock, sheep are most associated with pastoral, Arcadian imagery. Sheep figure in many mythologies—such as the Golden Fleece—and major religions the Abrahamic traditions. In both ancient and modern religious ritual, sheep are used as sacrificial animals; the exact line of descent between domestic sheep and their wild ancestors is unclear.
The most common hypothesis states. Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated by humankind. C in Mesopotamia; the rearing of sheep for secondary products, the resulting breed development, began in either southwest Asia or western Europe. Sheep were kept for meat and skins. Archaeological evidence from statuary found at sites in Iran suggests that selection for woolly sheep may have begun around 6000 BC, the earliest woven wool garments have been dated to two to three thousand years later. Sheep husbandry spread in Europe. Excavations show that in about 6000 BC, during the Neolithic period of prehistory, the Castelnovien people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues near present-day Marseille in the south of France, were among the first in Europe to keep domestic sheep. From its inception, ancient Greek civilization relied on sheep as primary livestock, were said to name individual animals. Ancient Romans kept sheep on a wide scale, were an important agent in the spread of sheep raising.
Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History, speaks at length about wool. European colonists spread the practice to the New World from 1493 onwards. Domestic sheep are small ruminants with a crimped hair called wool and with horns forming a lateral spiral. Domestic sheep differ from their wild relatives and ancestors in several respects, having become uniquely neotenic as a result of selective breeding by humans. A few primitive breeds of sheep retain some of the characteristics of their wild cousins, such as short tails. Depending on breed, domestic sheep may have no horns at all, or horns in both sexes, or in males only. Most horned breeds have a single pair. Another trait unique to domestic sheep as compared to wild ovines is their wide variation in color. Wild sheep are variations of brown hues, variation within species is limited. Colors of domestic sheep range from pure white to dark chocolate brown, spotted or piebald. Selection for dyeable white fleeces began early in sheep domestication, as white wool is a dominant trait it spread quickly.
However, colored sheep do appear in many modern breeds, may appear as a recessive trait in white flocks. While white wool is desirable for large commercial markets, there is a niche market for colored fleeces for handspinning; the nature of the fleece varies among the breeds, from dense and crimped, to long and hairlike. There is variation of wool type and quality among members of the same flock, so wool classing is a step in the commercial processing of the fibre. Depending on breed, sheep show a range of weights, their rate of growth and mature weight is a heritable trait, selected for in breeding. Ewes weigh between 45 and 100 kilograms, rams between 45 and 160 kilograms; when all deciduous teeth have erupted, the sheep has 20 teeth. Mature sheep have 32 teeth; as with other ruminants, the front teeth in the lower jaw bite against a hard, toothless pad in the upper jaw. These are used to pick off vegetation the rear