US Economy: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
A traditional economy relies on hunting, fishing and agriculture and is guided by traditions. This described most of America until the Depression.
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.
Fiscal policy is government spending, taxation and its economic impact. Here's contractionary, expansionary and it differs from monetary policy.
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It's used for Medicaid, food stamps, and Obamacare.
Definition of a business cycle, including the four stages. The economic indicators to watch. What GDP growth rate you should expect in each phase.
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.
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.
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.
The US military budget is $495.6 billion, but total defense spending is $738.8 billion. Why? All the components are hidden in other budgets.
A market economy is where production of goods and services are regulated by the laws of supply and demand.
Will the U.S. dollar collapse, and if so, when? Here's the causes, what happen if it did, and how to protect your finances.
The $17 trillion national debt is owned by Social Security, the Fed, and foreign investors. Here's the major owners as of June 2014.
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.
The Dow historical closing high is 17,958.79 set December 5, 2014. Here's the DJIA highs and lows during every business cycle since the Depression.
Expansionary monetary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth. Here's more on its purpose and tools.
How crude oil prices are measured, and how prices impact you and the economy. Recent oil price trends and history.
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.
GDP is the measurement of a country's total output. Here's how Gross Domestic Product is calculated, real vs nominal, per capita and GDP vs GNP.
Trade protectionism is how countries raise tariffs and reduce imports to protect their domestic industries. Here's pros, cons and examples.
The 5 determinants of demand are price, income, prices of related goods, tastes, and expectations. A 6th, for aggregate demand, is number of buyers.
NAFTA's purpose is to increase trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Here's the history of NAFTA, including 3 Presidents and its many critics.
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.
Why the value of a dollar today keeps shrinking. How to calculate the value of a dollar.
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during the depression.
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.
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.
What causes inflation? The 3 real reasons are demand-pull, cost-push and monetary expansion. Here's what creates those conditions.
The U.S. imported $2.744 trillion and exported $2.272 trillion in 2013. The biggest components of both are oil and consumer goods.
The budget deficits for each President all the way back to President Woodrow Wilson. Presidents Bush and Obama contributed the most to the debt.
A command economy subjugates individual self-interest to a greater societal or economic goals. It's great at mobilizing economic growth quickly.
A mixed economy combines the advantages and disadvantages of market, command and traditional economies. Here's examples and U.S. status.
Fiscal Year (FY) is a business or government's financial year. It's not the calendar year, but can coincide with it. Examples from Fed government.
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 is the Affordable Care Act. It requires you to have health insurance or pay a tax. Here's how it changes your life.
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.
Oil prices are determined by commodities market trading. The 3 factors that affect them are supply, demand and reserves. How that affects traders' perceptions.
The Fed funds rate is the target interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the Federal reserve requirement.
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.
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.
A summary of the most popular unemployment solutions, which ones work, and which are the most cost effective solutions.
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2014 through 2020.
The advantages of NAFTA for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. include an increase in trade which has contributed to economic growth.
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.
Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) was the worst day of the 1929 stock market crash. Here's the facts, what caused it, and why no one could stop it.
The European Union (EU) is a single monetary entity comprised of 28 fiscally independent countries. Here's how it works, and how it created a crisis.
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,
Quantitative Easing can be explained as expanded open market operations, where central banks buy securities to boost the economy. Did QE1 - QE4 work?
How crude oil prices affect gas prices, and how swings in oil prices affected gas prices from 2008 to the present.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What was the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, why did the Dust Bowl happen, and could the Dust Bowl happen again?
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.
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.
Contractionary monetary policy is when central banks raise interest rates, reducing the money supply, to avoid inflation. How it works and examples.
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.
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 U.S. debt increased $7 trillion during the Obama Administration. But how much did Obamacare, the Stimulus and other programs really add?
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.
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. It struck the heavily-populated Cityof New Orleans and the Gulf oil fields.
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.
A current account deficit is when a country imports more goods, services and capital than it exports. Here's its causes and effects.
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 Federal Reserve doing to control inflation? Find out the tools the Fed uses to manage inflation and even the expectation of inflation.
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 GDP growth rate tells you how fast a county's economy is growing. It compares real GDP from one quarter to the next.
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.
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.
Mexico's economy is becoming more attractive to investors, as President Pena Nieto opens up its energy industries.
Obamacare explained in a way that's simple enough for even your kids. The basic facts that you need to know now.
Stagflation is when economic growth stagnates while inflation is rising. It only happens under unusual circumstances, like wage-price controls.
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.
The euro to dollar conversion is how many dollars a euro will buy. Here's why it's fallen 10% since May, when the ECB announced QE Lite.
The real unemployment rate is 11.5% for November 2014, nearly double the reported rate of 5.8%. Is the government lying? Not exactly, and here's why.
The auto industry bailout of GM, Ford and Chrysler cost $80, but most has been recovered. Here's what happened and whether it was worth it.
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.
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?
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.
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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.
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.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI Index) measures inflation each month. Here's how it's calculated and the importance of the Core CPI.
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.
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 OPEC, who are OPEC members, and how does OPEC affect oil prices?
Find out how Obamacare's complex taxes affect you, especially in 2014. How Obamacare taxes and credits affect businesses.
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.
A brief history of the gold standard, including when the U.S. went off the gold standard, and why.
A definition of interest rates, including the APR. How interest rates work to stimulate or slow economic growth.
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.
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.
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.
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it is to use. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
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?
An economic recession is when growth slows, usually due to a fall-off in consumer demand. As sales drop off, businesses stop expanding.
Competitive advantage is what makes you better than anyone else. Here's the 3 strategies that work: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
What has Obama done? Here's his top 5 accomplishments, and how they've affected the U.S. economy. Compare his record to that of other Presidents.
The unemployment rate for November 2014 remained at 5.8%. Here's the current and original unemployment rate statistics for every month since April 2007.
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
The definition of cultural diversity, and why it matters in the workplace. How diversity, if managed correctly, can increase profits.
Structural unemployment is defined as unemployment caused by a mismatch between jobs and skills, or other long-term changes in the economy.
The natural unemployment rate is the combination of frictional, structural and surplus unemployment. Here's recent shifts that could be permanent.
Discretionary fiscal policy is the portions of Federal government taxes and spending that can be changed from year to year.
Not every jobless person is counted as unemployed. That's why you must know the difference between real, natural and structural unemployment.
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.
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.
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.
Exchange rates determine how much the dollar, or any other foreign currency, is worth compared to another country's currency.
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.
How much does NASA cost? What's the impact of the NASA budget on the U.S. economy.
Manufacturing jobs create new products from raw materials. They pay well, but are disappearing thanks to robotics.
Capital goods are the machinery, equipment and buildings used by businesses to create supply. Find examples and how it differs from consumer goods.
What is banking? The definition of banking, its critical role in the US economy, and how that has changed.
NASDAQ definition, what it stands for, and the difference between NASDAQ, NYSE, Dow and S&P 500. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes
The U.S. is the world's largest economy, followed by the EU. Those two leaders are followed by China, India and Japan.
Supply-side economics is a theory that recommends lower taxes and deregulation to increase supply of capital, jobs, labor and goods/services.
Oligarchy countries include Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia. Here's the top 6, why they're oligarchies, who's involved, and how they got that way.
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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.
Black Thursday in 1929 was the first day of the stock market crash that started the Great Depression. Here's facts about its causes and effects.
The ACA requires health insurance plans provide at least one service in each of 10 essential health categories. Here's the list and its impact.
Hedge funds are private investment funds that promise great rewards, but also present great risks to both investors and the economy.
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.
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
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.
The history of U.S. recessions since the Great Depression. Their causes, length, levels of GDP (original and revise), and unemployment rates.
Definition of the S&P 500, one of the most closely followed stock market indices.
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
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.
Real GDP per capita is the economic output of a country by person taking out the effect of inflation.
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.
Explains the Dow Jones Averages, including the Industrial Average (DJIA), the Transportation Average and the Utility Average, and what they tell you.
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 U.S. dollar rate what a dollar is worth in another currency. Find out forces are influencing the dollar's rate compared to the euro, the rupee, the pound and the yen. Understand how the U.S. dollar rate stacks up against other countries' dollar, including Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The U.S. economy robustly rose 3.9% in the third quarter. Check here to find out why, and compare to BEA revisions in GDP going back to 2011.
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.
The Federal Reserve requires that banks only keep $1 out of each $10 you deposit on hand each night. Here's why this is not only legal, but good.
The American Dream was first outlined in the Declaration of Independence, which legally protects each person's desire to pursue happiness.
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.
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.
A summary of President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, Reaganomics, supply-side economics and the recession of 1981.
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
Mortgage-backed securities are tradeable assets backed by mortgages, allowing banks more cash to make loans. All went well, until housing prices fell.
Traders drove oil prices to $114/barrel for October delivery when the U.S. theatened an airstrike in Syria. High oil prices aren't always based on supply and demand.
QE4 (January 2013 - October 2014) was the Fed's fourth round of Quantitative Easing. It was unprecedented because it set 2 definite targets.