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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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ACCOUNT (through O. Fr. acont, Late Lat. comptum, computare, to calculate), counting, reckoning, especially of moneys paid and received, hence a statement made as to the receipt and payment of moneys; also any statement as to acts or conduct, or quite simply any narrative report of events, &c. A further sense-development is that of esteem, consideration.

As a stock-exchange term " account "is used in several senses. (1) The periodical settlements occurring, in London, monthly for British government and a few other first-class securities, and fortnightly for all others. The settlement extends over four days in mining shares and three days in other securities. The first day is the carry-over, " contango," or making-up, day, on which speculative commitments are carried over, or continued: that is, the bulls, who have bought stock for the rise, arrange the rate of interest that they have to give on their stock to a moneylender, or bear, who will pay for it or take it in for them; and the bears, who have sold for the fall, arrange the rate that they receive from the bulls or, if the stock is scarce and oversold, the backwardation or rate that they have to pay to holders of the stock who will lend it them to enable them to complete their bargains. On the second day, called ticket-day or name day, a ticket giving the name and address of the ultimate buyer and the firm which will pay for the stock is passed through the various intermediaries to the ultimate seller, so that the actual transfer of the stock can be made directly. In the mining market the passing of names takes two days. On the last day, account day, pay day or settling day, cheques are paid to meet speculative differences, or against the delivering of stock. (2) The period between two settlements. A nineteen-day account is one in which nineteen days elapse between one pay-day and another. (3) The volume or condition of commitments. A speculator is said to have a large account open when he has dealt heavily either for the rise or fall. A bull account exists in a stock or group of stocks when it or they have been bought for the rise by a large number of operators; in the contrary case, when there have been heavy sales for the fall, a bear account is developed.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Account'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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