Monetarism asserts that monetary policy is very powerful, but that it should not be used as a macroeconomic policy to manage the economy. There is thus an apparent contradiction—if monetary policy is so powerful, why not use it, for example, to create more employment in the economy?

Money Market Instruments

The money market is the arena in which financial, nonfinancial, and banking institutions make available to a broad range of creditors, borrowers and investors, the opportunity to buy and sell, on a wholesale basis, large volumes of bills, notes, and other forms of short-term credit. A typical money market instrument is worth $1 million or more.

Money Supply

The supply or stock of money consists of all the money held by the nonbank public at any point of time. Money is defined as the generally accepted medium of exchange, i.e., whatever is generally accepted in paying for goods and services and repaying debt.

Monte Carlo Method

Monte Carlo methods—named after the famous European gambling casino—are a means of numerically simulating chance events in order to predict the most likely future outcome. In other words, Monte Carlo simulations are used to predict a range of different outcomes from a given set of decisions.

Mortgages/Mortgage-Backed Securities

A mortgage-backed security (MBS) is a derivative debt issue secured by groups, or pools, of home or commercial mortgages. The mortgages are grouped together by lenders or other institutions and then either sold to investors who purchase ownership shares in the pool or used to back a debt issue.

Most-Favored Nation (MFN)

The term "most-favored nation" (MFN) refers to a trade status granted by countries to one another as part of a formalized and reciprocal trade agreement. Under an MFN clause a country that grants trade concessions to one party of the agreement must grant the same concessions to all signatories of the agreement.

Multicultural Workforce

The phrase "multicultural workforce" refers to the changing age, sex, ethnicity, physical ability, race, and sexual orientation of employees across all types and places of work in the United States. Multicultural workforce as a descriptive term or phrase has, however, largely been supplanted by the term "diversity" in describing the increasing heterogeneity of the workplace through the inclusion of different groups of people.

Multilevel Marketing

Multilevel marketing (MLM), or network marketing, is a system of direct selling that relies on networks of independent distributors, usually private individuals, to reach customers by word-of-mouth. Multilevel systems provide an alternative to conventional arrangements that involve wholesalers and retailers.

Multivariate Analysis

Multivariate analysis deals with the mathematical application of statistics to a regression function to determine the effects of changes in a group of variables on other variables in the function. As a result, multivariate analysis can suggest, with a degree of predictive capability, what can be expected to happen when those variables change.

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is an investment trust in which investors may contribute funds in exchange for a share of that trust. Contributed funds are, in turn, invested in various securities, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, money market instruments, guaranteed investment contracts, Treasury bills, and other vehicles.

Nasdaq Stock Market

The Nasdaq Stock Market is a computerized communication system that provides the bid and asked prices of more than 5,000 over-the-counter (OTC)stocks that have met the market's registration requirements. Originally known as the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system, the name was changed in 1990 to the Nasdaq Stock Market, commonly referred to simply as Nasdaq.

National Debt

When a national government, such as the federal government of the United States, spends more money than it takes in from taxes, tariffs, and other revenue sources it must borrow from the private sector to meet its financial obligations. If this goes on year after year the accumulated debt is referred to as the national debt.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

An independent, quasi-judicial federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regulates union-employer relations in the United States. Its jurisdiction is the private sector, where it has the power to intervene in unfair labor practices (see Table I for examples) by employers or unions.

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS), an agency of the U.S. government, serves as a repository and clearinghouse for scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent agency of the federal government responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents and serious railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline accidents. The NTSB also reviews licensing and certification matters related to the U.S.


Lawsuits based on negligence are the most common kind of civil action in the area of tort law. Negligence is usually defined as the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable, prudent person would have exercised under the circumstances.

Negotiable Instruments

Negotiable instruments are written orders or unconditional promises to pay a fixed sum of money on demand or at a certain time. Promissory notes, bills of exchange, checks, drafts, and certificates of deposit are all examples of negotiable instruments.


Nepotism in the business world is the showing of favoritism toward one's family members or friends, in both economic and employment practices. The term "nepotism" is applied to the practice of granting favors or jobs to friends and relatives, without regard to merit.

Nondurable Goods

Nondurable, or soft, goods are those which are consumed immediately or within a short time. The U.S.

Nonparametric Statistics

Many statistical methods apply solely to populations having a specified distribution of values, such as the normal distribution. Naturally, this assumption is not always reasonable in practical applications.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an international agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Much has changed in the years since NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Introduced in 1997, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a collaboration between the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States stemming mostly from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Its purpose is to categorize narrowly defined economic activities, or industries, in a consistent manner among the three trading partners, although the system does leave room for fine level customization within each country.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established April 4, 1949, in Washington, D.C., with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The original stated purpose of NATO as put forth in the treaty's preamble was to "safeguard the freedom, common heritage, and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy … promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area," and "unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security." In fact NATO was created as a defensive political and military association.

Occupational Mobility and Retraining

The extent of occupational mobility is indicated by the number of workers who change occupations over a given period of time. Occupational mobility can be upward or downward, depending on whether a worker moves to a higher paying, higher status occupation, or vice versa.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established by the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, which took effect in 1971. OSHA's mission is to "assure, in so far as possible, every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions." With the exception of operators of mines, the OSH Act covers every nonpublic U.S.

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC)

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) rules on cases arising from contested enforcement actions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Its purpose is to provide a timely and fair resolution of those cases, which involve the alleged exposure of workers to unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

Office Automation

Office automation refers to the varied computer machinery and software used to digitally create, collect, store, manipulate, and relay office information needed for accomplishing basic tasks and goals. Raw data storage, electronic transfer, and the management of electronic business information comprise the basic activities of an office automation system.

Office Management

Office management is generally described as organizing and administering the auxiliary, day-to-day chores of the front office—chores that are often the responsibility of an office manager. Possible duties of an office manager include ordering and purchase approval of office supplies and services, hiring and supervision of front office workers, handling customer service, managing accounting functions, and analyzing sales—but office management can be virtually anything the company owner wants it to be.