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8.21 Scottish banks
1) In most countries it is only the government, through their central banks, who are permitted to issue currency.
2) But in Scotland three banks are still allowed to issue banknotes.
3) The first Scottish bank to do this was the Bank of Scotland.
4) When this bank was founded in 1695, Scots coinage was in short supply and of uncertain value, compared with English, Dutch, Flemish or French coin.
5) To face growth of trade it was deemed necessary to remedy this lack of an adequate currency.
8.22 Ocean floors
1) The topography of the ocean floors is none too well known, since in great areas the available soundings are hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.
2) However, the floor of the Atlantic is becoming fairly well known as a result of special surveys since 1920.
3) A broad, well-defined ridge-the Mid-Atlantic ridge-runs north and south between Africa and the two Americas.
4) Numerous other major irregularities diversify the Atlantic floor.
5) Closely spaced soundings show that many parts of the oceanic floors are rugged as mountainous regions of the continents.
8.23 Search engine companies
1) In the lobby of an internet search engine company’s headquarters in California, computer screens display lists of the words being entered into the company's search engine.
2) Although it says the system is designed to filter out any scandalous or potentially compromising queries, the fact that even a fraction of searches can be seen by visitors to the world’s biggest search company is likely to come as a shock to internet users who think of web browsing as a private affair.
3) People generally believe that using a search engine is the equivalent of talking to a priest or a rabbi, “says Larry Ponemon, head of the Ponemon Institute, a privacy think-tank. “The public in general doesn’t seem to fully understand how their privacy may be at risk.
4) However, that may be changing.
5) Over the past year, a series of privacy gaffes and government attempts to gain access to internet users' online histories have, along with consolidation among online search and advertising groups, thrust the issue of the issues of internet privacy into the spotlight.
6) This presents a challenge to internet search companies, which have built a multi-billion dollar industry out of targeted advertising based on the information users reveal about themselves online.
1) Markets may be good at encouraging innovation and following trends, but they were no good at ensuring social equality.
2) These markets had become rapidly dominated by powerful enterprises who were able to act in their own interests, against the interests of both workers and consumers.
3) There had already been some legislation to prevent such abuses - such as various Factory Acts to prevent the exploitation of child workers.
4) Mill was able to see an expanded role for the State in such legislation to protect us against powerful interests.
5) He was able to argue that the State was the only organ that was genuinely capable of responding to social needs and social interests, unlike markets.
1) Despite posting healthy profits, Volkswagen shares trade at a discount to peers due to bad reputation among investors, high capital expenditure and its close links to the state of Lower Saxony, which effectively has a blocking minority.
2) A disastrous capital hike, an expensive foray into truck business and uncertainty about the reason for a share buyback has in recent years left investors bewildered.
3) “The main problem with Volkswagen is the past. Many investors have been disappointed and frightened away,” said one Paris-based fund managers.
4) Volkswagen shares trade at about nine times the 2002 estimated, compared to BMW’s 19 and are the second cheapest in the sector.