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Labour - Work, especially manual/physical work, for wages.

Labour Intensive - A job requiring a lot of work, and often a lot of workers, in comparison to the costs of materials, equipment, etc.

Labour Law - Also known as Employment Law. Legislation which defines the legal rights and obligations of employees in the workplace.

Lading - Freight or cargo carried by a large vehicle. The act of loading cargo onto a ship.

Laffer Curve - named after US economist Arther Laffer (b.1940), the Laffer Curve refers graphically to notional/optimal government revenues according to changing levels levels of taxation, on the basis that at each extreme, i.e., 0% and 100% taxation, government revenues are zero, and that somewhere in between, a certain taxation % level (for which no general standard exists or can be applied) will produce optimal government revenues. The expression was popularized in the mid-1970s after reported discussions between Laffer and government officals Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, seemingly in which Laffer sought to advance the counter-intuitive argument that lower taxation would increase tax revenues. Laffer attributed the underpinning curve concept theory to Ibn Khaldun and John Maynard Keynes.

Laicisation - The defrocking of a minister or priest. The changing to lay status.

Laid-Off - In industry, etc., when workers lose their jobs, sometimes temporarily, because there is no work for them.

Laity - Usage is typically 'the laity' ('lay-ity'), an old traditional alternative word for lay people/members, typically used in relation to church organization and council, but applicable widely to ordinary people, as distinct from professional or qualified folk.

Landing Page - On the Internet, the first page that visitors to a website arrive at after they've clicked on a link to the site.

Larceny  - The crime of unlawfully taking someone else's property or money. Theft.

Large Cap - On the Stock Exchange, a company that has a large market capitalisation, i.e., a high total value of shares.

Law Of One Price - The rule that without trade barriers and transportations costs, identical products would cost the same worldwide using the appropriate exchange rate of currency.

Lay (people/person/member) - Also layman, or laywoman - Lay means non-professional, non-expert - ordinary member(s), of the public or of an organization, typically referring to religious communities, often relating to professions such as law and medicine, but potentially in any situation where non-professionals/experts are differentiated from qualified/professionals. The term may have an arrogant or patronising implication where expert, qualified, learned professionals discuss the general public or members who lack expertise.

Layaway - Often referred to as Lay-By. A means of purchasing an item by paying a small deposit to reserve it and then paying the balance in installments. When the total purchase price has been paid the customer can then take delivery of the goods.

Leader - Someone who leads, sets example, inspires, motivates, etc - technically having the personal qualities which attract followers for given situations. See the leadership theory section for lots more definitions and explanations, including differences between leadership and management. And see the leadership tips page for a more general guide to modern ethical progressive leadership.

Leadership - A person or number of people responsible for leading a team or group of people, usually in some sort of organized body or company, or the direction of a smaller team in a specific project or situation. See the leadership theory section for clarifications of leadership and the many theories which seek to explain and teach it. And see the leadership tips page for a more general guide to modern ethical progressive leadership.

Leading Indicator - A particular measure of a country's economic activity, used to predict near future economic trends.

Lead User - Term introduced by economist Eric von Hippel in 1986. Lead users are individuals or companies who greatly benefit from being the first to use or adapt a product for a particular need, often months or years before the general public or other businesses are aware of the need for the product.

Lean - Also known as the Toyota Production System or Just-In-Time Production. A system used in management, production, manufacturing, etc., to decrease waste and increase efficiency, especially with the use of automated assembly lines in the motor industry.

Learning Curve  - A graph depicting the rate at which a person learns a new skill. A steep learning curve shows that a person is learning quickly, and a shallow learning curve means that a person is slower and taking more time to learn.

Leaseback - An arrangement between a purchaser of a property and the vendor in which the vendor immediately leases the property back from the purchaser.

Leave Of Absence - The period of time which a person is permitted by their employer to be absent from their job.

Lease Purchase - A finance agreement in which an item, usually a car, is leased for a certain period of time with an option to purchase at the end of the contract.

Legal Aid - Legal assistance provided , usually by the state, for people or organisations who cannot afford to pay for solicitors or legal advice.

Legalese - An informal term for technical legal language, especially in documents intended for public/consumer readership, such as house conveyancing contracts, insurance policies, financial documents, especially loan arrangements, all sorts of terms and conditions, employment contracts, and general 'small print' in contracts. A cynical view asserts that much legalese is wholly intentional by the document writers, who are typically lawers and solictors, so as to dissuade customers/users from reading and understanding contractual details which may commonly be disavantageous or even highly onerous or potentially damaging. Incidentally, many contracts are produced entirely in upper case (capital letters), supposedly for emphasis, although in many cases this intends to worsen readability and accessibility still further.

Legal Entity - An individual or organisation who has the legal right to enter into a contract or an agreement, is responsuble for its actions, and can sue or be sued if the terms of the contract are broken.

Legal Reserve - The minimum amount of money, required by law, that a bank, insurance company, etc., must set aside in order to be able to operate.

Legal Tender - In day-to-day language the term generally refers to coinage or banknotes which have not been withdrawn or demonetised by the Bank of England and so are valid, but technically the term the UK refers to forms of currency which by law must be accepted by a creditor in payment of a debt. See the detailed technical definition of legal tender.

Lemon - A defective product which is poor quality and fails to function as promised. Particularly used in the automotive industry, specifically for a poor-quality second-hand car, or a sub-standard new vehicle.

Lender Of Last Resort - A country's central bank which loans money to other banks or financial institutions which cannot borrow money from anywhere else and do not have enough reserves to cover cash withdrawals by their customers.

Letter Of Comfort - A letter of approval written to a bank by a parent company on behalf of a subsidiary company which needs financial backing.

Letter Of Indemnity - A document in which an individual, company, etc., guarantees to protect another from costs, liability, etc., as a result of certain actions which may be carried out.

Liabilities - Debts which are owed to someone, obligations or responsibilities which are legally binding.

Libertarian/Libertine - A person who believes in the freedom of speech and thought, and that people should be able to do whatever - within reason - they wish with minimal interference from government. The words derive from the Latin root liber, meaning free, like the word liberty, meaning freedom.

Lien - A legal right to take and keep another persons property until a debt has been paid by the property owner.

(in) Lieu - The word lieu rarely appears outside of the expression 'in lieu of', which means 'instead of', or 'in place of'. For example, 'time off in lieu' means (and is a shortening of) time given off work instead of payment for extra hours worked. The word lieu is from French, 'lieu' and earlier 'leu', place, which came into English in the 1500s, originally from Latin locum/locus, place.

Lifeboat - An emergency loan offered to a company or bank which is in financial trouble.

Lifestyle Business - A business set up and run so as to fit with the wider life needs of the business owner(s) which might be called 'life balance', or happiness or wellbeing. Typically this will mean that the business can be established and operated with very simple, relatively small-scale, and easily manageable: infrastructure, overheads, inbound supply-chain (if any), premises (typically in a home), legal issues, administration products/services range, ambition, marketing and advertising, technology and ICT, staffing, and demands on workload, time, and generally work pressures. Given these criteria, certain types of businesses do not make naturally good lifestyle businesses, because they imply/require a more burdensome degree for one or a number of the features listed above. Businesses that do not naturally make good lifestyle businesses would be for example: manufacturing (other than boutique or 'hand-made' type products); warehousing and distribution; FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods - see FMCG in the acronyms page)

Life Tables - Also called Mortality Tables. Tables which show peoples life expectancy, depending on their age, lifestyle, etc., often used by insurance companies.

Lightning Strike  - A sudden strike by workers, with little or no warning. These strikes are often short in duration and usually without official union backing.

Limited Company - In the UK, a company that has a name ending in 'Ltd.' The owners of these companies have limited liability if the company gets into debt.

Limited Liability - In law, the owners and/or shareholders of a limited company only lose the amount they have invested if the company gets into debt.

Linchpin - The most important person or thing in a business or organisation.

Line Authority - In business, the power given to management allowing them to give orders and to control subordinates.

Liquidate - The closing down of a business by selling its assets to pay its debts.

Liquidated Damages - The fixed amount agreed upon by parties to a contract, to be paid to one party in the case of a breach of contract by the other party.

List Price - Known as 'Sticker Price' in the US. The advertised or recommended retail price (RRP) of a product.

List Rental - The renting, from an organisation, of a mailing list which has potential customer names and addresses, for a one-off mailing.

Litigant - A person or party who is involved in a court action or lawsuit.

Litigate - To legally settle a dispute in, or take a claim to, a court of law.

Litigious - To routinely or enthusiastically take legal action to settle disputes.

Litotes - A language term referring to understatement, used for emphasis, often ironically, in which the negative-opposite is used instead of the positive expression, for example, "It wasn't the best presentation I've ever given," when the speaker means that they considered it to have been a particularly poor one. Another example is the commonly used "Not bad," or "Not half Bad," when referring to something very good. The word litotes comes from Greek, litos, meaning single, simple or meagre.

Living Trust - A trust created in which assets can be transferred to someone while the grantor (the person who owns the assets) is still alive. Living Trusts avoid dealing with the legalities of a will.

Loan Shark  - Someone who offers unsecured loans at excessive rates of interest.

Local Content Measure  - Where a business or investor is required to purchase a certain amount of locally sourced materials to be used in the manufacturing, etc., of their product.

Lockout - A term used during an industrial dispute, when management closes down a workplace and bars employees from entering until they agree to certain terms and conditions.

Locus Standi - (Latin - place of standing) The right or capacity of a litigant to be heard or to bring an action in court.

Long Grass - To 'Kick something into the long grass' means to push a problem aside in the hope that it will be ignored or forgotten.

Long Position - A situation in which an investor or dealer holds onto shares, etc., which they have purchased, expecting them to rise in value in the future.

Long Term Liability - Taxes, leases, loans, etc., which are payable over a period greater than one year.

Loophole - An unintentional mistake in a contract or a law which allows people to evade an obligation in the contract, or to get round the law without actually breaking it.

Looping - In films, TV programs, etc., the process of dubbing the original film footage by synching (lining it up) with new or replacement dialogue.

Loss Leader  - In retail, a product which is offered at a very low price to attract customers who will then buy other goods which will produce more profit for the retailer.

Low Hanging Fruit  - A term used in business for something which is easily obtainable and highly visible, and provides a quick easy way to making a profit.

Low Yield - A term used to describe investments which are low risk and do not produce a high level of income.

Loyalty Card  - A card given to customers by a retailer which gives the customer points, etc., every time they shop there. These points convert into vouchers which the customer can spend at the store at a later date.

Luddite - A derogatory term for someone who opposes or disapproves of new technology and/or new methods of working, often because the changes threaten jobs. From the Luddite rioters of 1811-16, who in defence of labourers' jobs in early industrial Britain wrecked new manufacturing machinery. See Luddite in the words origins page.

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