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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Understand the Greek Debt Crisis in 5 Minutes
The Greece debt crisis means it defaults on its IMF debt and may leave the eurozone. Here's the causes, and what happens now.
Which President Added Most to the U.S. Debt?
How much each President actually contributed to the $18 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. Who added the most percentage-wise.
The Secret Trade Deal That's Bigger Than NAFTA
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) removes export barriers between the U.S. and 11 countries bordering the Pacific. Here's pros,cons and next steps.
See How the U.S. Debt Tripled Since 9/11
Here's national U.S. debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
China Is Now the World's Largest Economy
The world's largest economy is China, which replaced the United States in 2014. The EU is third, after being #1 in 2007. Here's why.
Where Is the Dollar's Value Headed Next?
The value of the U.S. dollar is measured in 3 ways: exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. Here's what they're telling you.
The Real Owner of the U.S. National Debt Will...
The $18 trillion U.S. national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of February 2015.
Is Obamacare Worth It?
Obamacare has many pros and cons. The ACA provides affordable insurance for some, and taxes others. Here's how it affects you.
Exactly How Much U.S. Debt Does China Own? And...
The U.S. debt to China is $1.224 trillion. Here's why America owes so much to China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
How Much Did Obama Really Add to the Nation's...
The U.S. debt increased $7 trillion during the Obama Administration. But how much did Obamacare, the Stimulus and other programs really add?
Which Presidents Rang Up the Highest Deficits?
The budget deficits for each President all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson. Presidents Bush and Obama had the highest deficits.
Here's Why the Euro Plummeted to a 12-Year Low
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. Here's why it fell to an 12-year low, and how that compares to prior years.
Why Austerity Measures Usually Don't Work
Austerity measures are steps governments take to reduce deficits and avoid a debt crisis. Pros and cons. Examples of U.S. and EU measures.
How to Calculate the Year-Over-Year Growth Rate
Year-over-year measures statistical changes against the same time period last year.How to calculate, pros, cons and examples.
Will the U.S. Dollar Collapse or Is That Just...
Will the U.S. dollar collapse, and if so, when? Here's the causes, what happens if it did, and how to protect your finances.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture. It's guided by traditions. Until the Depression, most of America was traditional.
3 Reasons Why America Is in Debt
The US debt is more than $18 trillion, the largest in the world. Here's the 3 reasons it grew so large, and how it damages U.S. economic growth.
Dow Sets New Record: What It Means
The Dow historical closing high is 18,312.39 set on May 19, 2015. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
The Key to Understanding What a Country Is Good...
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how Gross Domestic Product is calculated, real vs nominal, and GDP vs GNP.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
What You Should Know in Case of US Economic...
A U.S. economic collapse could occur within weeks, as it almost did on September 17, 2008. Several things could cause it, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Why the EU Is So Complicated to Run
The European Union (EU) is a single monetary entity comprised of 28 fiscally independent countries. How it works, stats, and history.
What Is the Current U.S. Federal Budget Deficit?
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $474 billion in FY 2015. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
What's the Difference Between Real and Nominal...
Real GDP is the economic output of a country with inflation taken out. Nominal GDP leaves it in. Here's the real GDP formula, and how it's used.
5 Determinants of Demand with Examples and...
The 5 determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. A 6th, for aggregate demand, is number of buyers.
Unlike the rest of us, the U.S. government...
The U.S. deficit adds to the debt each year, while interest on the debt increases the deficit. This spiraling cost will hurt economic growth.
How Central Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air
Monetary policy is how central banks manage liquidity to sustain a healthy economy. Here's its 2 objectives, the 2 policy types, and the tools used.
The 4 Critical Stages of the Business Cycle
The business cycle is the four stages of expansion and contraction in an economy. What GDP to expect, causes, how it's controlled.
Why the Dollar Is Worth So Much Less Than It...
The value of a dollar today is much lower than it was 100 years ago. In 1913, $1 could buy what $23.63 does today. Here's why.
The Government Ends the Auto Industry Bailout....
The auto industry bailout of GM, Ford and Chrysler cost $80 billion, but most has been recovered. Here's what happened and whether it was worth it.
Why 3 Out of 4 Presidents Agree That Expansiona...
Fiscal policy is how the government uses taxing and spending to expand or contract economic growth. How it differs from monetary policy.
Is the Government Lying About Unemployment?
The real unemployment rate includes discouraged and part-time workers. It's 10.5%, nearly double the official rate. Is the government lying?
Do You Qualify for Federal Assistance?
The 2015 Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It's used for Medicaid, food stamps, and Obamacare.
U.S. Debt Default
Although the U.S. will probably not default on its debt, you need to know what debt default is, and how it would affect the economy if the U.S. did default. Find out if other countries have defaulted on their debt, and why people are concerned about whether the U.S. will default every time the Federal Government approaches the debt ceiling.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
The Great Depression of 1929 was a 10-year global economic crisis where world trade fell 65%. Here's causes, impact and chances of recurrence.
The 4 Types of Inflation
There are 4 types of inflation: creeping, walking, galloping and hyper. How cost-push and demand-pull cause them. Plus asset, core and wage inflation.
3 Major Causes of Inflation
What causes inflation? The 3 real reasons are demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
What caused the EU debt crisis?
The eurozone debt crisis is because many countries in the European Union took on too much debt. This left German banks holding the bag.
The 14 Biggest Myths About Obamacare That...
The truth about Obamacare behind the 14 biggest myths that people actually believe. Test your knowledge to make sure you aren't being misled.
5 Factors That Predict How Much Obamacare Will...
Your Obamacare costs depends on 5 factors: income, family size, age, location and type of plan. Here's what you need to know before buying insurance.
Causes and Cures for Household, Business and...
A debt crisis occurs when creditors think borrowers, whether a household, business or government, will default on their debts. Causes and cures.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's examples and U.S. status.
What Is Trade Protectionism?
Trade protectionism is how countries raise tariffs and reduce imports to protect their domestic industries. Here's pros, cons and examples.
The 4 Major Things the U.S. Is Good at Producing
What are the four major components of GDP? Find out what makes up those components, and why personal consumption drives nearly 70% of the economy.
What You Really Need to Know About Obamacare
Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. It requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's how it changes your life.
The Strange Ups and Downs of the U.S. Economy...
U.S GDP by year measures the output of the U.S. economy during the years since the Great Depression. Compare to growth rate and GDP per capita,
Why the Government Can Run a Budget Deficit and...
A budget deficit occurs whenever a government spends more than it makes, which is nearly every year. Find out why and how it leads to debt.
Here's Why Gold Will Drop Below \$1,000 Again
Gold prices fell to $1,154 an ounce at the end of 2014. Here's gold price history in the Roman Empire, Great Britain and the United States.
How Reaganomics Cut Taxes, Increased Defense,...
Reaganomics promised to slash government spending and taxes to stimulate the economy out of stagflation and the 1980 recession. It worked, but at a cost.
6 Factors That Make a Market Economy
A market economy is where production of goods and services are regulated by the laws of supply and demand. Here's pros, cons and examples.
Read Up on the History of US Recessions
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, GDP (original and revised), and unemployment.
3 Things You Should Know About Exchange Rates
Exchange rates determine how much the dollar, or any other foreign currency, is worth compared to another country's currency.
What Makes the U.S. Dollar So Powerful?
The power of the US dollar means there's little danger of a collapse. It's the world's currency and it's backed by the U.S. government.
Why the Most Favored Nation Status Lowers Your...
Most Favored Nation Status is when countries enjoy reciprocal trade preferences. Here's the pros, cons, and examples.
How Do Treasury Notes Affect Your Mortgage Rates?
Mortgages rates have been rising since falling to a 200-year low in 2012 . Here's how falling demand for U.S. Treasury notes makes sure that continues.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, derivatives and their exchanges.
Obamacare: Simple Enough to Explain to Your Kids
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
Why Do Companies Have Different Fiscal Years?
Fiscal Year (FY) is a business or government's financial year. It's usually not the calendar year. Examples from Federal government.
What Command Economies Are Really Good At
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
The best ways to solve high unemployment...
A summary of the most popular unemployment solutions, which ones work, and which are the most cost effective solutions.
What Does the U.S. Import and Export?
The U.S. imported $2.744 trillion and exported $2.272 trillion in 2013. The biggest components of both are oil and consumer goods.
Which countries have too much debt?
Sovereign debt, (aka sovereign credit), is the money owed by a country's government to its creditors. The sovereign debt rating predicts how likely it is to default.
Did You Know the United States Has an Actual...
The U.S. debt clock tracks the national debt, which hit $18 trillion on 12/15/14. Find out its history, where it is, and other ways to track debt.
11 Biggest Causes of a Recession
Economic recession is caused by many factors that then lead to a loss of confidence. Here's examples from the 2008, 2001 and prior recessions.
Fed Lowers Outlook for 2015
The U.S. economic outlook is expansion for 2015 and beyond. Here's the latest forecasts for GDP growth, job creation and oil production.
Which Country Will Default Next?
The debt to GDP ratio is how much debt a country has incurred as a percentage of its total economic output as measured by GDP. Here's how it's used.
Iceland Goes Bankrupt - Is the U.S. Next?
The financial crisis in Iceland in 2008 led to its bankruptcy. Find out why the same could not happen in the U.S.
Is There Really Any Difference Between Treasury...
Treasury bills, bonds and notes have different maturities. Notes are issued at 2,3,5 and 10 years. Treasury notes fund the U.S. debt.
What Is Inflation? Causes, Types and How It's...
Inflation is defined as when prices rise over an extended period of time. Here's what causes it, the different types, and how it's measured.
It's the Most Interesting Interest Rate in the...
The Fed funds rate is the interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the reserve requirement.
How Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes. Here's how it works.
The 1929 Stock Market Crash: How It Changed...
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 kicked off the Great Depression. Here's the facts behind this devastating crash, what caused it and its effects.
What Is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
NAFTA's purpose is to increase trade in North America. Its history began in 1981, when Ronald Reagan campaigned for this free trade zone..
What Real GDP per Capita Tells You About Your...
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
What Are Interest Rates and How Do They Work?
A definition of interest rates, including the APR. How interest rates work to stimulate or slow economic growth.
Everything You Need to Know About Inelastic...
Inelastic demand is when the quantity bought doesn't change as much as the price does. Here's how to calculate it, examples and the other 2 types.
Unemployment Rate Fell to 5.3%
The unemployment rate for June 2015 fell to 5.3%. Here's the monthly unemployment rate statistics since April 2007.
Congress Approves Fast Track for Obama
A Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) allows Presidents to negotiate trade agreements more efficiently. That's why it's called fast-track authority.
How Much Is the Dollar Worth in 5 Other...
The U.S. dollar rate what a dollar is worth in another currency. Here's the forces affecting its rate vs the euro, rupee, pound and yen.
How to Calculate the GDP Growth Rate
The GDP growth rate tells you how fast a county's economy is growing. It compares real GDP from one quarter to the next.
U.S., Europe, Greece, and Iceland Debt Crises...
A sovereign debt crisis is when a country can't pay its bills. Compare the U.S., European, Greece, and Iceland debt crises.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
The Real Reason We're Sending American Jobs to...
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a sign of global economic imbalance. Here's its causes, effects and remedies.
How the Fed Created Massive Amounts of Money
Quantitative Easing is when a central bank adds credit to its member banks' reserves in exchange for their securities. How it's worked.
The Surprising Truth About the U.S. Debt Crisis
Between 2010- 2013, the U.S. faced a debt crisis each year as tea party Republicans resisted raising the debt ceiling. Here's why it didn't work.
Why Do We Need NATO Now More Than Ever?
NATO is an alliance of 28 members that agree to defend its North Atlantic members. It's being called into action thanks to the crisis in Ukraine.
6 Negative Effects of NAFTA
NAFTA cost many workers their jobs in the U.S., and led to exploitation of workers in Mexico. Find out the 6 problems of NAFTA.
What You Need to Know About the World's Largest...
China's economy is the world's largest, thanks to being the #1 exporter. Here's causes, concerns and effects.
Why Are Gas Prices So High?
High gas prices are caused by futures investments, not supply and demand. Find out why prices are high, and why they rose from 2008 to the present.
How the 10-Year Treasury Note Guides All Other...
The U.S. Treasury 10-year note yield is the return on investment. It's so important because it guides other interest rates, like a 15-year mortgage.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct...
Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is when businesses from one country invest in businesses in another one. How it works, pros, and cons.
4 Reasons Why Healthcare, and Health Insurance,...
Health care reform was desperately needed. Here's four reasons why.
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate the economy. Here's its effects, with examples.
The Warning Signs of a Recession
An economic recession is when growth slows, usually due to a fall-off in consumer demand. As sales drop off, businesses stop expanding.
How the Consumer Price Index Measures the Price...
The Consumer Price Index (CPI Index) measures inflation each month. Here's how it's calculated and the importance of the Core CPI.
A Dollar Decline Is Inevitable, While a...
A dollar decline is very different from a collapse. Here's why, the causes, effects and how to protect yourself from both.
Highest and Lowest Interest Rates and Why They...
In recent history, the Fed funds rate has ranged from 0% to 20%. Here's highs, lows, and a historical chart with major economic events.
Guess How Much America Spends on Defense
The US military budget is $534.3 billion, but total defense spending is $786.6 billion. Why? All the components are hidden in other budgets.
Use These 3 Harvard Business School Strategies...
Competitive advantage is what makes you better than anyone else. Here's the 3 strategies that work: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
The Law of Demand Explained Using Examples in...
The law of demand states that the quantity bought depends on the price, ceteris paribus. Explanation using demand schedule, curve and determinants.
Is the U.S. Headed Towards the Second Great...
Recent news developments lead many to believe another depression is inevitable if it hasn't started already. Here's the arguments pro and con. Page 2.
Does the Federal Reserve Actually Print Money?
Is the Federal Reserve really printing money? Its ability to create credit out of thin air has the same effect, and creates asset bubbles.
Elastic Demand: When the Amount Bought Really...
Elastic demand is when consumers are really sensitive to price changes for a good or service. Here's how to calculate it, examples, and other types.
What the Unemployment Rate Measures and How It...
The national unemployment rate is the number of people looking for a job divided by the number in the labor force. How it's used.
5 Benefits of NAFTA You May Not Even Realize
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
What Is LIBOR and How Does It Affect You?
The LIBOR rate is what banks charge each other for short-term loans. It's determined by ICE from a survey of banks. It hovers near the Fed funds rate.
Why being unemployed and jobless are two...
Unemployment is people who do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work.
Use the Dow to Predict the Stock Market
The Dow Jones Averages include the Industrial Average (DJIA), the Transportation Average and the Utility Average. Here's what they tell you.
What Is Demand-Pull Inflation?
Demand-pull inflation is the most common cause of inflation. It's when the demand for a good or service becomes much greater than supply, allowing producers to raise prices. Find out the circumstances that create demand-pull inflation as illustrated by examples.
How is the value of money determined?
Money has value, but who determines how valuable money is? Find out the different ways money is valued, and why the value of money keeps changing.
The 9 Types of Unemployment: Which Is the Worst?
The 3 main types of unemployment are structural, frictional and cyclical. To get 5 types, add seasonal and classical. Here's all 9 types.
How the IMF Works
The IMF is a worldwide organization that works with its 187 member countries to stabilize the global economy. Here's its history and who runs it.
How to Make Obamacare Work for You
Obamacare works for you by making sure you can get insurance. Beyond that, it depends on your particular circumstance. Find out how it works for you.
Why Banking is a Key Driver of the U.S. Economy
What is banking? The definition of banking, its critical role in the US economy, and how that has changed.
The true cause of income inequality in America
U.S. income inequality has worsened significantly in the past 30 years. What is the cause, what can be done about it, and how does it affect you?
How Black Friday Got Its Name
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? It started out as a negative, but was later turned to a positive. Here's where the term came from.
Could You Survive Hyperinflation?
Hyperinflation is when prices rise more than 50% a month. Here's the causes, some examples, and how to survive.
10 Reasons Why the U.S. Economy Won't Collapse
Here's 10 reasons why the U.S. economy isn't in imminent danger of collapsing.
The Real Reason Gold Prices Have Been Cut Since...
When gold prices are high, the economy is in crisis or inflation. When they're low, the economy is healthy. Here's the history, and how to invest..
The Power of the U.S. Economy
The power and resiliency of the U.S. economy creates both growth and a high standard of living.
What Is GDP Per Capita?
GDP per capita is the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) of a country by person. How it's measured. 10 richest and poorest countries.
Why Do Interest Rates Ever Need to Rise?
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates, reducing the money supply, to avoid inflation. How it works and examples.
12 Million Americans Earn \$77,060/Year in...
Manufacturing jobs create new products from raw materials. They pay well, but are disappearing thanks to robotics.
What Is the Ideal GDP Growth Rate?
The ideal GDP growth rate is one that enable the economy to grow at a healthy rate. If growth is too fast, the economy risks inflation. If growth is too slow, the economy risks recession or even depression.
More Americans Immigrate to Mexico Than Vice...
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
Demand, Not Money, Makes the World Go Round
Demand in economics is the quantity of goods and services bought at various prices during a period of time. Explanation of law, determinants, curve.
What Is the Public Debt?
The public debt is how much a government owes to creditors outside of itself. Here's pros and cons, how it's measured, and when it's too high.
Why Is WTO Membership So Important?
Membership in the WTO (World Trade Organization) confers many trade benefits. That's why 159 countries are members.Who are they?
What 3 Things Really Drive Oil Prices?
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves.
How Can You Compare GDP Between Countries?
The best way to compare GDP by country depends on your purpose. Here's when to use purchasing power parity, official exchange rate or GDP per capita.
How Is the Federal Reserve Monetizing Debt?
How is the Federal Reserve monetizing debt? By buying U.S. Treasuries. Where does it get the money? Like other central banks -- out of thin air.
How Do Bonds Affect Mortgage Interest Rates?
Bonds affect mortgage interest rates because they both appeal to investors who want a fixed return and low risk. Here's how that works.
What Are Hedge Funds?
Hedge funds are private investment funds that promise great rewards, but also present great risks to both investors and the economy.
Why You Really Don't Want Unemployment to Fall...
The natural unemployment rate is the combination of frictional, structural and surplus unemployment. Here's recent shifts that could be permanent.
How Diversity at Work Makes You More Money
The definition of cultural diversity, and why it matters in the workplace. How diversity, if managed correctly, can increase profits.
Why Are Oil Prices Rising and How High Will...
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2015 through 2020. Why they plummeted in 2014, and why prices rebounded in 2015.
What Are Central Banks?
A central bank is an semi-independent government authority that conducts monetary policy, regulates banks, and provide financial services.
How the 9/11 Attacks Still Damage the Economy...
The 9/11 attacks deepened the 2001 recession, led to the War on Terror, and helped create the largest debt in U.S. history.
What Is Wrong With Obamacare?
What is wrong with Obamacare? Here's 11 problems the ACA has created, most of them unanticipated.
U.S. Economy Contracted 0.2% in Q1: Blame the...
The U.S. economy shrank 0.2% in the first quarter, thanks to 3 unrelated causes. Compare to all GDP forecasts since 2011.
What Is Being Done to Control Inflation?
What is the Federal Reserve doing to control inflation? Find out the tools the Fed uses to manage inflation and even the expectation of inflation.
8 Ways the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act...
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act regulates the practices of Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis. Here's a summary of the Act.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
How the Gold Standard Made the Great Depression...
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
Why Are People Dropping Out of the Labor Force?
The labor force participation rate is the labor force divided by the population. Here's current and historical examples.
The 5 Causes of Cost-push Inflation
Cost-push inflation causes rising prices by driving up the costs of supply. It doesn't occur very often, but when it does, it's devastating.
What Are the Causes and Effects of a Trade...
The trade deficit is when a country imports more than it exports. Here's causes, effects, U.S. definition, and its role in the balance of payments.
Will Obamacare Reduce Health Care Fraud?
Healthcare fraud costs the patients, taxpayers and the the healthcare industry, billions. Find out how it can be reduced by healthcare reform.
Why the Dollar Is the Global Currency
Since 1944, the U.S. dollar is used as the default global currency. Why calls for another global currency will fail.
What are trade agreements we have with our...
A summary of the US Regional Trade Agreements including TTIP, TPP, NAFTA, CAFTA, MEFTI, FTAA, ASEAN and APEC.

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