broker

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Related to brokers: Stock brokers, Types of Brokers, Customs Brokers

broker,

one who acts as an intermediary in a sale or other business transaction between two parties. Such a person conducts individual transactions only, is given no general authority by the employers, discloses the names of the principals in the transaction to each other, and leaves to them the conclusion of the deal. The broker neither possesses the goods sold nor receives the goods procured; brokers take no market risks and transfer no title to goods or to anything else. A broker earns a commission, or brokerage, when the contract of sale has been made, regardless of whether the contract is satisfactorily executed. The broker is paid by the party that started the negotiation. In practice, merchants and other salespeople act as brokers at times.

Brokers are most useful in establishing trade connections in those large industries where a great many relatively small producers (e.g., farmers) compete for a wide market. They operate in strategic cities and keep in active touch with the trade needs of their localities and with one another. They are important in determining prices, routing goods, and guiding production, and in those functions play a part similar to that of the highly organized exchanges. Brokers also negotiate trades in property not directly affecting production; examples are stockbrokers and real estate brokers.

Types of Brokers

Employment agents are really brokers, as they bring together the buyers and sellers of labor. Merchandise brokers arrange sales between manufacturers and wholesalers or retailers, between producers and users of raw materials, and sometimes between two manufacturers. Small concerns use retail brokers instead of maintaining their own sales forces. Insurance brokers bring together insurance companies and those who want insurance. They are most useful to those needing several types of insurance protection and to those whose large risks must be divided among many companies. Real estate brokers negotiate sales and leases of farms, dwellings, and business property and are often also insurance brokers. Ship brokers keep informed of the movement of vessels, of cargo space available, and of rates for shipment and sell this information to shippers. They serve tramp carriers in the main, inasmuch as the larger ship lines have their own agents. Such brokers also serve as post agents, in which capacity they settle bills for stores and supplies, pay the wages of the crew, and negotiate insurance for the vessel and cargo. They also arrange the sale of ships. In the organized markets, such as grain and stock exchanges, commission merchants and straight selling displace brokerage in large part, but between cities and where there is no active exchange, brokers in grain and other commodities are active. Members of organized exchanges usually act as commission merchants or trade on their own account. However, in the New York Stock Exchange a group of members called "floor brokers" perform the actual trading on the exchange floor for representatives of commission houses, taking no responsibility and receiving a small fee. In the United States, note brokers buy promissory notes from businessmen and sell them to banks. Traders in acceptances and foreign bills of exchange are known in the United States as acceptance dealers. Customs brokers are not actually brokers; they act as agents for importers in estimating duties and clearing goods. The pawnbrokerpawnbroker,
one who makes loans on personal effects that are left as security. The practice of pawnbroking is ancient, as is recognition of the danger it involves of oppressing the poor.
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 is a private money lender. Technology in the 1990s changed the nature and importance of some brokers, when the InternetInternet, the,
international computer network linking together thousands of individual networks at military and government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, industrial and financial corporations of all sizes, and commercial enterprises (called gateways
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 allowed people to, for example, trade stocks and purchase insurance directly, without the aid (or with the minimum aid) of brokers.

broker

References in classic literature ?
I understand that they have had brokers in the house?
Here are the names of seven respectable brokers," Wingrave continued, passing a sheet of paper towards him.
said another, a broker named Metivier, "ha, that's an old monkey well up in his tricks.
I went home in good spirits (for me) to report what had happened, and found the brokers in the house carrying off the furniture which I had bought with my own money for sale by auction.
Bankers, farmers, sailors, cotton-planters, brokers, merchants, watermen, magistrates, elbowed each other in the most free-and-easy way.
We therefore, who are the registers of that lottery, shall imitate those sagacious persons who deal in that which is drawn at Guildhall, and who never trouble the public with the many blanks they dispose of; but when a great prize happens to be drawn, the newspapers are presently filled with it, and the world is sure to be informed at whose office it was sold: indeed, commonly two or three different offices lay claim to the honour of having disposed of it; by which, I suppose, the adventurers are given to understand that certain brokers are in the secrets of Fortune, and indeed of her cabinet council.
Rebecca was entirely surprised at the sight of the comfortable old house where she had met with no small kindness, ransacked by brokers and bargainers, and its quiet family treasures given up to public desecration and plunder.
Sapsea finishes off with an air of bestowing a benediction on the assembled brokers, which leaves the real Dean--a modest and worthy gentleman--far behind.
Not, however, towards the 'shops' where cunning artificers work in pearls and diamonds and gold and silver, making their hands so rich, that the enriched water in which they wash them is bought for the refiners;--not towards these does Mr Wegg stump, but towards the poorer shops of small retail traders in commodities to eat and drink and keep folks warm, and of Italian frame-makers, and of barbers, and of brokers, and of dealers in dogs and singing-birds.
He had gone over to Klein's, looking up some cotton broker whom he wished to see in regard to securities, exchanges, stocks, bonds, or something of the sort, Madame Ratignolle did not remember what.
None; unless it avail him somewhat that he was broker, down by long and exquisite suffering; that his mind was darkened and confused by the very remorse which harrowed it; that, between fleeing as an avowed criminal, and remaining as a hypocrite, conscience might find it hard to strike the balance; that it was human to avoid the peril of death and infamy, and the inscrutable machinations of an enemy; that, finally, to this poor pilgrim, on his dreary and desert path, faint, sick, miserable, there appeared a glimpse of human affection and sympathy, a new life, and a true one, in exchange for the heavy doom which he was now expiating.
What is the ruinous discount which Mordecai, the broker, gets from poor Woebegone, the bankrupt, on a loan to keep Woebegone's family from starvation; what is that ruinous discount but a Fast-Fish?