SINKING FUND is a sum set apart periodically from the income of a government or a business and allowed to accumulate in order ultimately to pay off a debt. A preferred investment for a sinking fund is the purchase of the governments or firms bonds that are to be paid off. Usually the fund is administered by a trustee.
CONTRACT LAW is that body of law which regulates the enforcement of contracts. Contract law has its origins thousands of years ago as the early civilizations began to trade with each other, a legal system was created to support and to facilitate that trade. The English and French developed similar contract law systems, both referring extensively to old Roman contract law principles such as consensus ad idem or caveat emptor. There are some minor differences on points of detail such as the English law requirement that every contract contain consideration. More and more states are changing their laws to eliminate consideration as a prerequisite to a valid contract thus contributing to the uniformity of law. Contract law is the basis of all commercial dealings from buying a bus ticket to trading on the stock market.
AUCTION-RATE PREFERRED STOCK is preferred stock issues in which dividends are reset every 49 days through a Dutch Auction bidding process. These securities are known by many names coined by the underwriters who bring them to market. Other names are: Auction Market Preferred Stock (AMPS), Cumulative Auction Market Preferred Stock (CAMPS), Dutch Auction-Rate Transferrable Securities (DARTS), Floating-Rate Auction Preferred Stock (FRAPS), Market Auction Preferred Stock (MAPS), Rate Adjustable Preferred Stock (RAPS), Short-Term Auction-Rate Stock (STARS) and Money Market Preferred (MMP).
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