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YIELD CURVE: A curve plotting the yields (or returns) on securities with different maturity lengths. The standard yield is for U.S. Treasury securities with lengths ranging from 90 days to 30 years. The five maturity lengths are usually 90 day, 180 day, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year, and 30 year. The shape and slope fo the yield curve indicates the state of the economy and what's likely to come. A normal yield curve has a slight positive slope, with slightly higher yields for longer maturity securities. A steep yield curve suggests the end of a contraction and beginning of an expansion. An inverted, or negatively sloped yield curve is the sign of an upcoming contraction.

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FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM: THE central bank of the United States. It includes a Board of Governors, 12 District Banks, 25 Branch Banks, and assorted committees. The most important of these committees is the Federal Open Market Committee, which directs monetary policy. The Fed (as many like to call it) was established in 1913 and modified significantly during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It's duties are to maintain the stability of the banking system, regulate banks, and oversee the nation's money supply.

     See also | Board of Governors | Board of Governors, Chairman | Federal Reserve Bank | Federal Reserve District Bank | Federal Reserve Branch Bank | Board of Governors | Federal Open Market Committee | Federal Advisory Council | money supply | monetary policy | bank | monetary aggregate | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Reserve note | bank reserves | Federal Reserve deposits |


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KEYNESIAN AGGREGATE SUPPLY CURVE

An aggregate supply curve--a graphical representation of the relation between real production and the price level--that reflects the basic principles of Keynesian economics. The Keynesian aggregate supply curve actually comes in two versions. The basic version is reverse-L shaped, with a horizontal segment connected to a vertical segment at a sharp corner. The modified version is also reverse-L shaped, but the vertical and horizontal segments have positive slopes and connecting corner is rounded. An alternative is the classical aggregate supply curve.

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