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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What's the Difference Between Real and Nominal...
Real GDP is the economic output of a country with the effects of inflation taken out while nominal GDP leaves it in. Here's how to calculate real GDP.
Guess Which President Added the Most to the...
How much each President actually contributed to the $17.7 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to Woodrow Wilson. Who added the most percentage-wise.
The 4 Critical Stages of the Business Cycle
Definition of a business cycle, including the four stages. The economic indicators to watch. What GDP growth rate you should expect in each phase.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture and is guided by traditions. This described most of America until the Depression.
Is Obamacare Worth It?
Obamacare has many pros and cons because it affects everyone differently. Find out what both sides say so you can make up your own mind.
Why the National Debt Tripled Since 9/11
Here's national debt by year, compared to the size of the economy and whether there was a recession, war or other catastrophe.
How the Federal Reserve Created Massive Amounts...
Quantitative Easing explained, including QE1, QE2, QE3, QE4 and Operation Twist. Why the Federal Reserve adopted this policy and how it works.
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 Key to Understanding What a Country Is Good...
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how it's used, what's included, how it differs from GNP, real vs nominal GDP, per capita.
How Obamacare Makes The Federal Poverty Level...
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It sometimes refers to the poverty threshold, the number of poor.
3 Ways to Measure the Value of the U.S. Dollar
The value of the U.S. dollar can be measured in three ways - exchange rates, Treasury yields and foreign currency reserves. Here's how they differ.
How Does the Federal Government Define a Fiscal...
Fiscal Year (FY) differentiates an organization's financial year from the calendar year. The Federal government's FY 2015 started 10/1/2014.
Causes and Effects of the 1929 Stock Market Crash
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.
When Stock Prices Fall: Correction or Crash?
The difference between a stock market correction and a stock market crash.
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.
Why Deflation Is More of a Hidden Threat to You...
Deflation is when prices fall. Here are causes, how it's measured, how it's stopped, and why it's worse than inflation. Japan as an example.
The Real Owner of the U.S. National Debt Will...
The $17 trillion national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of June 2014.
The Dow Sets More New Records - But There's a...
The Dow historical closing high is 17,265.99 set September 18, 2014. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
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.
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.
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.
How China and Other Command Economies Work So...
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
What You Really Need to Know About Obamacare
Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. In a nutshell, it requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's how to avoid it.
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.
How Much the U.S. Spends on Defense Will...
The FY 2015 US Military Budget is $495.6 billion, second only to Social Security. The true cost is $738.8 billion. Why it's so high, and how it's grown since 2006.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Direct...
Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is when businesses from one country invest in businesses in a foreign country. How it works, and the pros and cons.
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.
Are We in for a U.S. Dollar Collapse or Is That...
Is the U.S. dollar in danger of an imminent collapse? Find out what would cause it, what would happen next, and the best way to protect your finances.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's pros, cons, examples and U.S.status.
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.
How the World's Largest Trade Agreement Reduced...
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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,
3 Major Causes of Inflation
There are three major causes of economic inflation: demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
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.
The Auto Industry Bailout: Why, How and What It...
The specifics of the auto bailout received by GM, Ford and Chrysler. What the Big 3 promised to give back in return. How it affected the economy.
What Is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
NAFTA's purpose was to increase trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Find out the history of NAFTA, and whether its achieved its purpose.
Why Treasury Yields Fall When Demand Rises
U.S. Treasury yields are determined by demand for the bonds themselves. As the bond prices rise, the yield falls. Here's why, and an outlook.
Why the Dollar Is Worth So Much Less Than It...
Why the value of a dollar today keeps shrinking. How to calculate the value of a dollar.
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.
Why Was Katrina the Most Destructive Natural...
Why was Katrina the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history? It struck the heavily-populated City of New Orleans and the Gulf oil fields.
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.
How to Calculate the Year-Over-Year Growth Rate
Definition of the year-over-year growth rate, how to calculate it, and why using it gives a better sense of a trend than comparing month to month.
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.
Exactly How Much U.S. Debt Does China Own? And...
The U.S. debt to China is $1.25 trillion. Here's why America owes so much China, and what happens if China calls in its loans.
3 Reasons Why America Is in Debt
The US debt is $17.7 trillion, the largest in the world. Here's the three main reasons it grew so large, and how it will damage U.S. economic growth.
What more your elected officials COULD be doing...
A definition of fiscal policy with links to descriptions of the components of fiscal policy, including revenue, taxes, mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and the budget deficit.
What You Should Know About the Dust Bowl and...
What was the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, why did the Dust Bowl happen, and could the Dust Bowl happen again?
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.
The 4 Types of Inflation
There are 4 main types of inflation, from creeping to hyperinflation. In addition, there's stagflation, deflation, as well as wage and asset inflation (food, gas and oil). Core inflation is used by the Federal Reserve to control them all.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
The Surprising Reason Why Gold Will Drop Below...
The history of gold prices since the Roman Empire show that the precious metal's record-high prices in 2011 were part of an asset bubble.
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.
How Gas Prices Get 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.
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 contributed the most to the debt.
Everything You Need to Know About Elastic Demand
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.
How Black Tuesday Signaled the Start of the...
Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) was the fourth and last day of the stock market crash of 1929. Panicked investors stampeded out of stocks, kicking off the Great Depression.
3 Important Factors That Determine Oil Prices
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves. How that affects traders' perceptions.
Unemployment Drops Below 6% for the 1st Time...
The unemployment rate for September 2014 fell to 5.9%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
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.
Why Mexico's Economy Is Growing Faster Than You...
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
How the Nation's Most Powerful Bank Controls...
The Federal funds rate is the target interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the Federal reserve requirement. The Fed funds rate is critical because it dictates the availability of capital in the economy. That's how the Federal Reserve uses the Fed funds rate is to manage the U.S. economy, especially inflation.
Why the EU Is So Complicated to Run
The European Union (EU) is one of the largest economies in the world. Here's how it's similar to, and different from, the U.S.
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.
The Real Reason We're Sending American Jobs to...
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a symptom of global economic imbalance. Here's its causes, effects and remedies.
What Is a Current Account Deficit?
A current account deficit occurs when a country has to rely on foreign investors to fund its economic growth. Here's its causes and effects.
What Is the Current U.S. Federal Budget Deficit?
The U.S. Federal budget deficit will be $564 billion in FY 2015. That's a third of the all-time record deficit of $1.4 trillion, set in FY 2009.
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.
What did the fourth round of quantitative...
An explanation of QE4, the Federal Reserve's fourth installment of quantitative easing.
Interesting Facts about China and Its Economy
China's economy is the third largest in the world, and it is the largest exporter. Here's the causes, concerns and how it impacts the U.S.
How the Effects of the 9/11 Attacks Continue to...
The 9/11 attacks had long-ranging economic impacts. Not only did they deepen the 2001 recession, they led to the War on Terror. These costs helped create the largest debt in U.S. history.
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.
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. But there's really 9 types in all.
How the US Trade Deficit Hurts the Economy
The U.S. trade deficit in 2013 was $539.514 billion. Here's a summary of what's traded, what causes the deficit, and America's largest trade partner.
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?
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth.
4 Reasons Why Monopolies Are Bad, and 1 Time...
A monopoly is the sole provider of a good or service. Here's 4 ways they prevent free trade, 1 reason they're needed, and their history in the U.S.
How Inflation Impacts Your Life
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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.
What Has 7 Governors And 12 Presidents And...
The Federal Reserve System is America's central bank. Its dual-mandate is to prevent inflation and reduce unemployment using monetary policy. Here's how.
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.
Why structural unemployment is rising
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
Everything You Need to Know About Inelastic...
Inelastic demand is when people's buying habits don't respond very much to changes in the price. Here's how to calculate it, examples and 2 other types.
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.
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.
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.
What Is the World's Largest Economy?
The U.S. is the world's largest economy, followed by the EU. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
7 Things You Should Know About Outsourcing
Jobs outsourcing is how U.S. companies hire lower-paid workers in emerging markets instead of Americans.Here's the different types of outsourcing, and their impact.
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.
Is the Government Lying About the Real...
The real unemployment rate is 11.8% for September 2014, nearly double the reported rate of 5.9%. Is the government lying? Not exactly, and here's why.
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.
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.
What's the Forecast for Oil Prices?
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2014 through 2020.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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.
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.
How Do Oil Prices Affect Gas Prices?
How crude oil prices affect gas prices, and how swings in oil prices affected gas prices from 2008 to the present.
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.
How Crude Oil Prices Affect the You and the...
How crude oil prices are measured, and how prices impact you and the economy. Recent oil price trends and history.
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.
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.
What is NASDAQ and what does it mean
NASDAQ definition, what it stands for, and the difference between NASDAQ, NYSE, Dow and S&P 500. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes
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.
Does Trickle-Down Economics Actually Trickle...
Trickle-down economics is a theory that says reducing taxes on businesses will trickle down to benefit all. Did it work, and would it today?
How Central Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air
Monetary policy manages inflation and unemployment by controlling interest rates and the supply of money and credit. It is directed by a nation's central bank.
Read Up on the History of US Recessions
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, levels of GDP (original and revise), and unemployment rates.
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.
What Does Liquidity Mean in Terms of Investment...
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it is to use. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
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?
How Capital Goods Drive Business Success
Capital goods are the machinery, equipment and buildings used by businesses to create supply. Find examples and how it differs from consumer goods.
The Top 3 Most Important Types of Market Cap
Market capitalization is a company's stock price times the number of shares outstanding. Here's the 3 types, top 20 companies by market cap, and how it's used.
The real reason the stock market crashed on...
Black Thursday in 1929 was the first clue that a historic stock market crash was about to hit.
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.
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.
What Is GDP Per Capita?
GDP per capita is the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) of a country by person. Compare the 2013 rankings for the ten richest and ten poorest countries using GDP per capita.
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.
What Is Cyclical Unemployment?
Cyclical unemployment is when demand falls, and businesses lay off workers. It occurs during the contraction phase of the business cycle. It can be a vicious, downward spiral that can only be stopped by Federal government intervention.
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.
\$1 of NASA Spending Drives \$10 of Economic...
How much does NASA cost? What's the impact of the NASA budget on the U.S. economy.
How bad it can get when exports don't equal...
The balance of trade is the difference between a country's exports and its imports. Balance of trade vs payments. Dangers of trade surplus. Components.
How to Use the S&P 500 to Make Money
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
How Do Bonds Interact with the Stock Market?
Usually, when stock prices go up, bond values go down. Investors like stocks when the economy is strong, while bonds are a safe haven investment.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
Why being unemployed and jobless are two...
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. That's why you must know the difference between real, natural and structural unemployment.
Where Are We in the Business Cycle and Why...
Where are we in the current business cycle? We are still in an expansion phase. However, it's been very long and slow. How to protect your investments.
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.
What Is the Euro to US Dollar Conversion?
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. On September 4 the euro dropped 1%, to $1.2954, when the ECB announced QE Lite.
Why Do Interest Rates Ever Need to Rise?
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates and reduce the money supply to avoid inflation. Here's some examples.
How Mortgage-Backed Securities Work Differently...
Mortgage-backed securities are tradeable assets backed by mortgages, allowing banks more cash to make loans. All went well, until housing prices fell.
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.
The Difference Between Dollar Decline and...
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
What Is Hyperinflation?
Hyperinflation is double-digit inflation. It usually caused by a government policy of printing too much money. There's a big difference between hyperinflation and inflation.
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.
10 Essential Benefits: Does Your Health Plan...
The 10 essential health benefits include preventive care, maternity care and mental health benefits. Before the ACA, less than 2% of plans complied.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
Stagflation Ruined the 1970s. Can It Happen Now?
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
What Not to Do in a Stock Market Crash
A stock market crash is when the stock market loses more than 10% in value in one day. Here's examples, and what not to do.
How to Detect Asset Bubbles Before They Blow Up...
An asset bubble is when there is an inflation in specific assets, such as real estate or commodities. They don't show up in inflation measures.
4 Facts About NAFTA and How It Still Affects...
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
How to Compare the Cost of Living Around the...
The cost of living compares how much income you need to live in various locations, or across time. Find out the best indicators for your needs.
How the War on Terror Actually Escalated Under...
The War on Terror costs nearly $1.5 trillion from FY 2001-FY 2014. That's on top of the costs to run the Department of Defense, the VA and Homeland Security.
3 Types of Securities and How They Affect the...
Securities are stocks, bonds and other investments. They allow ownership of without taking physical possession and are highly liquid.
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.
How Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
4 facts about the future you need to know now
The Fed's latest outlook says the economy will grow between 2.1 - 2.3% in 2014. Here's what other agencies say about growth, job creation and oil production.
How Yield Curves Predict the Future (Pssst!...
The U.S. Treasury yield curve compares the yields of short-term Treasury bills with long-term Treasury notes. Here's how to use this to predict the future.
Does Boosting Supply Create Economic Growth?
Supply-side economics is a theory that recommends lower taxes and deregulation to increase supply of capital, jobs, labor and goods/services.
What Does OPEC Stand For? Who Are OPEC Members?
What is OPEC, who are OPEC members, and how does OPEC affect oil prices?
When Rates on Short-term Loans Are Higher Than...
An inverted yield curve is when interest rates on short-term loans are higher than the ones on long-term loans. Here's why that predicts a recession.
How bundles of loans created the financial crisis
CDOs, or Collateralized Debt Obligations, are a derivative. Banks repackaged loans, including credit card and corporate debt, and sold them to investors.
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