Mun Thomas

Mun Thomas

Mun, Thomas (1571-1641), English economist. Son of a London mercer. He became successful in that trade and obtained wide experience in Italy and the Levant. He became associated with the East India Company in 1615 and soon rose to be director, a position he held until his death. In iGzz he became a member of the Standing Commission on Trade. Man's contribution to economics dates from 1621 with his Discourse of Trade from England unto the East Indies. In it he defended the East India Company from the attacks of the Mercantilists, who objected to the company's export of bullion as detrimental to British trade. Man argued that as long as exports exceeded imports, the drain of bullion from a country had no significance. This idea was developed in England's Treasure by Foreign Trade which he wrote in 1630. Mun's importance lies in his explanation of the balance of trade and his early expression of commercial capitalist ideas.

Mutatis mutandis, a Latin phrase sometimes employed in economics, meaning 'the necessary changes being made'. For example, 'A labour-saving invention will reduce the relative share of labour. The same holds, sutatis mutandis, of a capital-saving invention.'

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