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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Guess Which President Added the Most to the...
How much each President actually contributed to the $17 trillion U.S. debt all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson.
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. A
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.
How Obamacare Makes The Federal Poverty Level...
The Federal poverty level refers to either the poverty guideline (who can receive assistance) and the poverty threshold (how many are poor).
The Key to Understanding What a Country Is Good...
GDP is everything produced by all the people and all the companies in the country. Understand GNP, real vs nominal GDP, per capita, and how GDP is used.
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.
How Does the Federal Government Define a Fiscal...
Fiscal Year (FY) differentiates an organization's financial year from the calendar year. The Federal government FY 2014 began 10/1/2013, and FY 2015 starts 10/1/2014.
3 Characteristics of a Traditional Economy
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture for its base, and is guided by traditions. A large part of the United States was in a traditional economy until the Great Depression.
Why You Should Know Difference Between Real and...
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.
How 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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a Command Economy, and What Are Its...
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 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.
What Does the U.S. Import and Export?
Two of the largest components of U.S. imports are oil and consumer goods, which are also its biggest exports.
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.
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.
What You Really Need to Know About Obamacare
What is Obamacare? It requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's exactly what it does and how it affects you.
How to Calculate an Economy's Year-Over-Year...
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.
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.
What Is Trade Protectionism?
Trade protectionism is how countries try to protect their domestic industries by raising tariffs and reducing imports. Find out the pros and cons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Who Is the Biggest Owner of the U.S. National...
Who owns most of the U.S. national debt? Surprise... it's not China, it's the U.S. government. That means it's the American taxpayer, which is you!
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.
Determinants of Demand
The five determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. There's a sixth determinant for aggregate demand, which is number of buyers. Find out how these factors influence demand, and why everyone needs to know how they work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dow Went Above 17,000 Again - What It Means...
The Dow historical closing high is 17,138.20 set July 16, 2014. Quickly find the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
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 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.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
What Causes a Recession?
The causes of economic recession and the major causes of both the 2008 and 2001 recessions.
What Is the World's Largest Economy?
The EU is the world's largest economy, while the U.S. is the country with the largest economy. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
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.
4 Factors That Predict How Much Obamacare Will...
How much Obamacare costs you depends on your income and family size, which determines whether you receive subsidies. Estimate your costs now.
What Is a Mixed Economy?
A mixed economy seeks to combine the advantages of market, command and traditional economies. Examples.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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.
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.
What Does Liquidity Mean in Terms of Investment...
Liquidity has two definitions. In the economy, liquidity means how much money there is to spend and invest. In business, liquidity is defined as how easily an asset can be converted to cash.
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.
How Bad Is the Unemployment Rate Right Now?
The unemployment rate for July 2014 rose to 6.2%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
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.
Elastic Demand
Elastic demand is when a price change creates a larger percentage change in the quantity demanded.
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 Do We Need NATO?
The purpose of NATO has expanded beyond the historial reason why it was created, which was to defend Europe. In recent years NATO countries have fought terrorism in Afghanistan, protected civilians in Libya, and combated piracy in the Indian Ocean. The existence of NATO set the stage for today's economic alliances, as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Obamacare: Simple Enough to Explain to Your Kids
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough that you could even explain it to your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
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.
What is The U.S. National Debt and How Did It...
The US debt, at $17 trillion, is the largest in the world. Its grew so much because the Federal government kept spending, but interest rates on Treasuries stayed low.
Why Does China Own So Much American Debt?
The U.S. debt to China in August 2013 was $1.268 trillion, 23% of the debt owned by foreigners. Find out why America is in debt to China, and what would happen if China called in its loans.
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.
What Is the Euro to US Dollar Conversion?
The euro to dollar conversion tells you how many dollars the euro will buy. The euro was worth 99 cents in 2002, and rose to a peak of $1.4718 in 2007.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
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 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 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.
Top 6 Ways to Find Out How the Economy Is...
These 6 signs tell you how the economy is doing right now, and whether it's about to get worse.
The Difference Between Dollar Decline and...
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
How Inflation Impacts Your Life
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
What Is LIBOR and How Does It Affect You?
The LIBOR rate is what banks charge each other for short-term loans. It's usually close to the Fed funds rate.
The 5 unlikely crcumstances that create...
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. Find out the causes, the effects, and the difference from a trade surplus.
Which States Have the Best Economies and Job...
Which States Have the Best Economies and Job Prospects?
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?
How Much Did Hurricane Katrina Hurt the U.S....
Why was Katrina the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history? Many factors contributed, including Katrina's path through the Gulf oil fields and the heavily-populated City of New Orleans.
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.
What Is Inflation?
Inflation is defined as when prices rise over an extended period of time. However, this definition doesn't take into account the types of inflation.
How Did the Bank Bailout Bill Help Turn Around...
What exactly was in the 2008 bank bailout bill, how much was actually spent, and how well it addressed the financial crisis.
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.
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.
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 Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
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 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.
Read Up on the History of US Recessions
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, GDP, and unemployment levels.
Interesting Facts about China and Its Economy
China's growing economy makes it a major influence on the U.S. economy. China's low standard of living allows it to export cheaply, keeping U.S. inflation low. China is the largest foreign buyer of U.S. Treasuries, which keeps U.S. interest rates low. Find out how the economies of China and the U.S. are interdependent.
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.
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. Find out the causes and consequences of a current account deficit.
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.
What is NASDAQ and what does it mean
NASDAQ definition including what the acronym stands for. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes. The difference between NASDAQ, Dow and S&P 500.
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.
Market Capitalization
Market capitalization, or market cap, is how investors gauge a company's size -- either by large, mid or small cap. The formula is the number of shares times the share value.
How Bad of a Threat Is Inflation Right Now?
The inflation rate was .1% in July. The core inflation rate was 2.0% year-over-year, exactly at the Fed's target.
How Capital Goods Drives 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 Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bad is inflation compared to the past?
The U.S. inflation rate is the percent increase or decrease in prices. It was 1.5% in 2013, while the core inflation rate was 1.7%.
What Is the S&P 500?
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
Gulf Cooperation Council
The Gulf Cooperation Council and its members represent the growing power of the Gulf oil-exporting countries. A list of GCC countries include every country in the Arab Peninsula except Yemen.
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 India's historic election could create U.S....
The major challenge for India's economy is to grow without inflation. Newly elected Prime MInister Modi could also boost trade with the U.S.
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 a Little-Known Rate Banks Charge Each Other...
Here's how the LIBOR rate follows the Fed funds rate...except in April 2008, when its divergence signaled the bottom was falling out of the markets.
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.
What exactly are derivatives and why are they...
Financial derivatives are contracts to buy or sell underlying assets. They include options, swaps and futures contracts. Why they're so dangerous.
How bad it can get when exports don't equal...
The balance of trade measures how much a country exports versus its imports. A trade surplus is usually considered a favorable trade balance, while a deficit is usually considered unfavorable. Find out why this is not always true.
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.
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. Although it's a lagging indicator, it is critical in guiding fiscal and monetary policy.
U.S. Trade Deficit with China
The US trade deficit with China is the largest in the world, and a symptom of global economic imbalance. Find out why there a deficit, and what is being done to correct it.
Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? The meaning of the name started out as a negative, but was later turned to a positive. Find out both meanings, and where the term
How the real unemployment rate differs from the...
In July 2014, the real unemployment rate was 12.2%, double the reported rate. Why? It includes the discouraged and part-timers who'd prefer full-time jobs.
Learn How Monopolies Damage the Economy
A monopoly is the sole provider of a good or service. Sometimes this is necessary, but usually it hurts the economy. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act doesn't make monopolies illegal, but it does prohibit them from using their position to price-fix.
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.
What Are the Current Federal Reserve Interest...
The Fed lowered the current Federal Reserve interest rate to near zero on December 16 2008, and signals it intends to keep it there until 2015.
What Is the European Union and What Does It Do
The European Union (EU) is one of the largest economies in the world. The nature of the EU is changing daily thanks to the eurozone crisis.
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.
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.
Will the U.S. Debt Ever Be Paid Off?
A reader asks: I am wondering your take on the national debt. Without cutting spending dramatically or increasing tax revenue dramatically (easier done with
How Obamacare Taxes Affect You
Find out how Obamacare's complex taxes affect you, especially in 2014. How Obamacare taxes and credits affect businesses.
288,000 Jobs Created in April
The economy bounced back in April, creating 228,000 jobs, well beyond the 150,000 minimum needed for healthy economic growth. Job gains were across the board
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.
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.
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.
5 Numbers That Tell You What the Economy Will...
Leading economic indicators predict future shifts. The top 5 are durable goods, manufacturing jobs, interest rates, building permits and stocks.
How multilateral trade agreements boost global...
The definition of multilateral trade agreements.
The Economy Grew 4% Last Quarter...Ummm, Maybe...
The economy rebounded an astonishing 4.0% from the first quarter's downturn. Check here to find BEA revisions in GDP going back to 2011.
How the US Trade Deficit Negatively Affects the...
The U.S. trade deficit in 2012 was just under $539.514 billion. It was driven by imports of oil, consumer products and automobiles. The top four trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico and Japan.
What Was the Subprime Mortgage Crisis and How...
The subprime mortgage crisis put the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Find out how it unfolded, affecting first the real estate market and then the economy overall.
Here's the Special Rate Banks Save for Their...
The prime rate is what banks charge their best customers. It's slightly higher than LIBOR -- unless a financial crisis is brewing.
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 can negatively impact economic growth.
America Is Not Really a Free Market Economy:...
The U.S. is generally considered the world's premier free market economy. That's because the U.S. Constitution guarantees many elements that create a free
What Does OPEC Stand For? Who Are OPEC Members?
What is OPEC, who are OPEC members, and how does OPEC affect oil prices?
Why you should probably invest in commodities
A definition of commodities, the commodities markets and how commodities futures work.
Find Out Who Received Checks and How Much Was...
The Obama Economic Stimulus Plan sent out $13 billion in stimulus checks in 2009, part of $65 billion in tax relief.
Real GDP Per Capita
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
Do Trickle-Down Economics Improve the Economy?
The theory of trickle-down economics promises that reducing taxes on the highest income population fuels economic growth.
Is stagflation looming?
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
Why Reform Health Care
Health care reform will cost billions, but will also save the economy billions in sick time, emergency room costs and improved child care. Find out the economic impact of health care reform.
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.
Your desire to pursue whatever makes you happy...
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
What Are Commodities Futures?
An easy-to-use definition of commodities futures, how they work, and the investment risks.
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