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HOLDING COMPANY: A company (usually a corporation) that owns enough stock in another corporation to exercise virtually complete control over its management. Holding companies often own controlling interest in several diverse corporations, allowing it to engage in diverse activities (some of which might be risky) while limiting its liability should problems arise. While holding companies exist in most types of industries, then tend to be quite popular in banking. Through a holding company, a bank can essentially take part in other financial markets (selling insurance, underwriting securities, or acting as a broker) that are beyond the legal authority of the bank itself.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a flea market hoping to buy either a green fountain pen or a handcrafted bird house. Be on the lookout for the last item on a shelf.
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A thousand years before metal coins were developed, clay tablet "checks" were used as money by the Babylonians.
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