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The Complete Idiot's Guide to MBA Basics, 3rd Edition by Tom Gorman

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What Are the Financial Markets?

Broadly, the financial markets are organized forums for buying and selling securities and other financial instruments, such as foreign currencies. Securities are documents that evidence ownership in a company (stocks) or debts owed by a company or government entity (bonds). Although the financial markets include physical markets in actual buildings, such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, the financial markets actually comprise millions of buyers and sellers linked by national and global telecommunications networks.
 
A financial market provides mechanisms for ensuring that transactions occur in an orderly manner and are accurately reported and tracked. An exchange is such ...

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