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US Economy: Most Popular Articles

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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.
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.
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 3 Out of 4 Presidents Agree That Expansiona...
Fiscal policy is government spending, taxation and its economic impact. Here's contractionary, expansionary and it differs from monetary policy.
Do You Qualify for Federal Assistance?
The Federal poverty level is the guideline that determines who can receive assistance. It's used for Medicaid, food stamps, and Obamacare.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guess How Much America Spends on Defense
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.
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.
Are We in for a U.S. Dollar Collapse or Is That...
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 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.
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.
The Dow Sets More New Records! Here's the Problem
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.
Why Today's Low Interest Rates Create More...
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 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'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.
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, per capita and GDP vs GNP.
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.
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.
What Is the History and Purpose of NAFTA?
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.
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.
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.
What Happened During The Great Depression of...
What caused and finally ended the Great Depression of 1929. Life and unemployment during 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.
Here's Why Gold Will Drop Below \$1,000 Again
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
Why Do Companies Have Different Fiscal Years?
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.
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 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.
Why Deflation Is a Bigger Threat to You Than...
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.
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.
It's the Most Interesting Interest Rate in the...
The Fed funds rate is the target interest rate banks charge each other to borrow funds overnight to maintain the Federal reserve requirement.
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.
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.
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's the Forecast for Oil Prices?
Oil price forecasts from the EIA and the OECD for 2014 through 2020.
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.
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.
How Black Tuesday Signaled the Start of the...
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.
Why the EU Is So Complicated to Run
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.
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,
How the Fed Created Massive Amounts of Money
Quantitative Easing can be explained as expanded open market operations, where central banks buy securities to boost the economy. Did QE1 - QE4 work?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
How Would You Spend \$787 Billion?
What was in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, and how well did it succeed?
Why Was Katrina the Most Destructive Natural...
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 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 is when a country imports more goods, services and capital than it exports. Here's its causes and effects.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Why Has the Euro Plummeted 10% Since May?
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.
Is the Government Lying About the Real...
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 Government Ends the Auto Industry Bailout....
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.
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.
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?
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.
The Surprising Similarities Between Presidents...
Find out the similarities and differences between the economic policies of President Obama and President Bush.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Does OPEC Stand For? Who Are OPEC Members?
What is OPEC, who are OPEC members, and how does OPEC affect oil prices?
How Obamacare Taxes Affect You
Find out how Obamacare's complex taxes affect you, especially in 2014. How Obamacare taxes and credits affect businesses.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Here's How Liquidity Controls Your Finances
Liquidity is the amount of capital available, and how easily it is to use. Here's how central banks and businesses manage liquidity.
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?
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.
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.
What Has Obama Done?
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.
Unemployment Remains at 5.8%, But Discouraged...
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.
The Difference Between Dollar Decline and...
Will the chronic dollar decline cause a collapse? How to protect yourself from it.
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 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.
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 Discretionary Fiscal Policy Affects...
Discretionary fiscal policy is the portions of Federal government taxes and spending that can be changed from year to year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
\$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.
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.
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.
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 Makes the NASDAQ Different From the Dow...
NASDAQ definition, what it stands for, and the difference between NASDAQ, NYSE, Dow and S&P 500. NASDAQ bubbles and crashes
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.
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.
Which Countries Are Oligarchies and Why?
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.
How Inflation Impacts Your Life
The consequences of inflation and the effects of inflation on buying power.
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.
The real reason the stock market crashed on...
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.
10 Essential Benefits: Does Your Health Plan...
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.
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.
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.
Obamacare in a Nutshell: Here's How it Affects...
An easy-to-understand summary of Obamacare and how it affects your particular circumstance.
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.
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.
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 Are Interest Rates Determined?
Interest rates are determined by the Fed funds rate and demand for U.S. Treasury notes.
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.
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.
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.
How to Use the Dow Jones averages
Explains the Dow Jones Averages, including the Industrial Average (DJIA), the Transportation Average and the Utility Average, and what they tell you.
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 U. S. Dollar Rate
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.
Is the Economy Really Growing at a Whopping...
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.
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.
Why banks are allowed to lend \$9 out of every...
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Did President Reagan Try to Combat the...
A summary of President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, Reaganomics, supply-side economics and the recession of 1981.
Fast Facts About NAFTA
Facts about the NAFTA agreement, including history of NAFTA, the benefits and problems with NAFTA for its members Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Make Financial Markets Work for You
An introduction to the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities derivatives and their exchanges.
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.
What Makes Oil Prices So High?
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.
What did the fourth round of quantitative...
QE4 (January 2013 - October 2014) was the Fed's fourth round of Quantitative Easing. It was unprecedented because it set 2 definite targets.
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