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QUASI-PUBLIC CORPORATION: A business activity that is privately controlled, but authorized by government legislation. The Federal National Mortgage Association is one example. Quasi-public corporations are set up when governments expand their activities and/or divest themselves of current government functions. Quasi-public corporations often result because governments seek to promote a particular activity, such as student loans, low cost home mortgages, or lotteries, but do not want the administrative burden.

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FRACTIONAL-RESERVE BANKING

A method of banking activity in which banks keep less than 100 percent of their deposits in the form of bank reserves and use the rest for interest-paying loans. Fractional-reserve banking makes it possible for banks to function as profit-seeking financial intermediaries (matching up lenders and borrowers) while ensuring the safety and liquidity of deposits, especially checkable deposits that are part of the economy's money supply.

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Fact 3: Our Unfair Lives

Across the interstate from the Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center resides the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall -- a prime example of our economy's climate-controlled, suburban shopping phenomenon. Our pedestrian's ramble through the economy would be totally inadequate if we did not spend at least one day strolling past the endless rows of stores with their displays of clothes, shoes, electronics, clothes, luggage, clothes, cheese pretzels, and of course clothes. Our pedestrian trip, however, is not concerned with the products exhibited beyond the stylish glass windows. No, our jumping off point is the gadzillions of people who pass us by, bump into us, get in our way, and generally make our shopping experience comparable to a commuter train during the rush hour.

Those who comprise the shopping crowd are short, tall, young, old, fat, thin, black, white, happy, and sad. More importantly for our present discussion, however, is that some are rich and some are not-so-rich. A few of the wealthier shoppers actually buy the products framed by the picturesque windows that line the air-conditioned quaint mid-way of Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. Others must be content to ogle the prominently displayed products or perhaps buy an occasional cheese pretzel.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers looking to buy either clothing for your pet dog or an ink cartridge for your printer. Be on the lookout for gnomes hiding in cypress trees.
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