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CAPITAL ACCOUNT: One of two parts of a nation's balance of payments. The capital is a record of all purchases of physical and financial assets between a nation and the rest of the world in a given period, usually one year. On one side of the balance of payments ledger account are all of the foreign assets purchase by our domestic economy. On the other side of the ledger are all of our domestic assets purchased by foreign countries. The capital account is said to have a surplus if a nation's investments abroad are greater than foreign investments at home. In other words, if the good old U. S. of A. is buying up more assets in Mexico, Brazil, and Hungry, than Japanese, Germany, and Canada investors are buying up of good old U. S. assets, then we have a surplus. A deficit is the reverse.

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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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    SHUTDOWN RULE

    A rule stating that a firm minimizes economic loss by producing no output in the short run if price is less than average variable cost. This is one of three short-run production alternatives facing a firm. The other two are profit maximization (if price exceeds average total cost) and loss minimization (if price is less than average total cost but greater than average variable cost).

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    APLS

    WHITE GULLIBON
    [What's This?]

    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time touring the new suburban shopping complex trying to buy either a half-dozen helium filled balloons or a packet of address labels large enough for addresses of both the sender and the recipient. Be on the lookout for empty parking spaces that appear to be near the entrance to a store.
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    This isn't me! What am I?

    Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, was the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson, an accomplished mathematician and economist.
    "It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly. "

    -- Isaac Asimov

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