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October 19, 2021 

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INDIFFERENCE CURVE: A curve that graphically depicts various combinations of goods that generate the same level of utility to a consumer. In other words, a consumer is "indifferent" among any of the bundles because they all provide the same satisfaction. Indifference curves are combined with a budget line or constraint for indifference curve analysis used to explain many aspects of demand, including the slope of the demand curve and the income and substitution effects.

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: What It Is
  • Banking
  • Intermediary
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: Banking Details
  • Types
  • Commercial Banks
  • S&Ls
  • Credit Unions
  • Savings Banks
  • Balance Sheet
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: Reserve Banking
  • Reserves
  • Legal, Required, and Excess Reserves
  • Goldsmith
  • Goldsmith Deposits
  • Goldsmith Loans
  • Goldsmith Reserves
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Regulating Banks
  • Why?
  • Who?
  • How?
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: The Economy
  • Benefits
  • Problems
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Banking

    In this lesson, we take a look at the role banking plays in the macroeconomy. Banking is most important to the study of macroeconomics because a substantial fraction of the economy's money supply is under the direct control of commercial banks (as opposed to government). Because government needs to control the money supply to promote business-cycle stability, they need to control banks control of the money supply. As such, we need to take a look at how banks operate, including how they issue the deposits that make up the money supply.

    • The first unit opens this lesson with an overview of banks and the banking system, including their role as financial intermediaries.
    • Moving into the second unit, we take a closer look at the banking system, especially the four basic types of banks (banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and mutual savings banks) and the assorted assets and liabilities of a typical bank.
    • The key banking principle -- fractional-reserve banking -- is then discussed in the third unit with a little story about Fred the Goldsmith.
    • The fourth unit of this lesson discusses the why, how, and who of bank regulation.
    • The fifth and final unit then examines the benefits and problems of fractional-reserve banking for the macroeconomy.

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    MACROECONOMIC PROBLEMS

    Undesirable situations that exist in the macroeconomy, largely because one or more of the macroeconomic goals are not satisfactorily attained. The primary problems are unemployment, inflation, and stagnant growth. Macroeconomic theories are designed to explain why these problems emerge and to recommend corrective policies.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a dollar discount store hoping to buy either a birthday gift for your mother or a weathervane with a horse on top. Be on the lookout for fairy dust that tastes like salt.
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    "Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing. "

    -- B. C. Forbes, founder, Forbes magazine

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