are bulls and bears in a stock market?
There are frequent references
in the newspapers about trends being bullish or
bearish, blue chip companies, bonds and debentures.
The one common denominator to all these terms is
money, though not in the currency form. Before we take
a run though some of the terms we stumble upon day in
and day out, let's get a feel of the first currency
money that was used.
Leather money is said to have been the forerunner of
paper money. Pieces of white stag skin, embellished
with designs of water plants were one of the early
forms of currency notes. It was first issued by the
Emperor Wu between 140 and 86 BC. Some historians say
that leather money was issued in Europe and elsewhere
too. It is said to have been in use until the recent
past and the last recorded instance of leather money
having been used was in the year 1875, during a Red
The first paper money was issued by Emperor Hein Tsung
in China in the ninth century, between 806 and 821 AD.
The Bank of Sweden issued the first bank note printed
on paper (in Europe), in the year 1661. In the United
States America, the issue of the first official paper
money was made in Massachusetts Bay, in 1690.
Coins were first used in the eighth century BC and the
King of Lydia in Asia Minor was the first to introduce
pure gold coins. In Europe, the first important gold
coin used in commerce was the bezant, which got its
name from Byzantium, now called Israel. It remained
the standard gold coin until the thirteenth century.
King Charles II introduced the first guinea or
sovereign in 1662. It was so named, because it was
made from gold obtained from the Guinea Coast in West
Africa. Originally, its value was sixteen shillings,
but later was raised to twenty-one shillings.
As we said earlier, there are other forms of money
transactions too. There are checks, money orders,
credit cards, shares, stocks and bonds. Stocks are
shares in a large company, which pays the stockholder
a dividend when it makes profit. Shares are the
capital stock of a company. Bonds are loans of money
to governments or private companies. The money, while
still in the borrower's custody, fetches returns in
the form of interest. It is returned to the bondholder
after a specified period of time.
Let's take a look at some money terms and what they
mean. A blue chip company is one whose shares are
highly valued. A bearish trend indicates falling
prices in the stock market. Bullish trend, on the
other hand, means rising prices in the stock market.
The metaphors are based on the two animals, one known
for slapping its enemies down (the bear) and the other
known for its habit of tossing its enemies up (the
Gilt-edged shares are government securities on which
dividend payments are guaranteed.
Money trivia: Do you know how the piggy bank got its
name? It was named after the clay used to make the
coin banks. The name of the clay was pygg. Over a
period of time, these coin banks began to be made in
the shape of pigs.