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ASSUMPTIONS, CLASSICAL ECONOMICS: Classical economics, especially as directed toward macroeconomics, relies on three key assumptions--flexible prices, Say's law, and saving-investment equality. Flexible prices ensure that markets adjust to equilibrium and eliminate shortages and surpluses. Say's law states that supply creates its own demand and means that enough income is generated by production to purchase the resulting production. The saving-investment equality ensures that any income leaked from consumption into saving is replaced by an equal amount of investment. Although of questionable realism, these three assumptions imply that the economy would operate at full employment.

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Lesson 20: Federal Reserve System | Unit 4: Monetary Policy Page: 15 of 20

Topic: Discount Rate <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The discount rate is the interest rate the Fed charges for reserve loans to commercial banks.
  • The Federal Funds rate is for loans between commercial banks.
  • The discount rate is for loans from the Fed to commercial banks.
  • Banks borrow from the Fed when the need reserves to stay in business. The price they pay is the discount rate.

Why don't troubled banks use the Federal Funds Market?

  • Other banks are probably reluctant to extend a loan.
  • The entire banking system might be short of reserves.
  • The discount rate is typically lower than the federal funds rate.

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INVESTMENT BORROWING

The acquisition of funds through the financial markets by the business sector which are used to finance investment expenditures on capital goods. In terms of the simple circular flow model, this is one of two basic demands for household saving diverted into financial markets. The other is government borrowing.

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