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July 18, 2018 

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TANGENCY: A geometric condition that occurs when two curves touch at a single point with identical slopes at that point. This condition of tangency surfaces in several different areas of economic analysis, including indifference curve analysis (tangency between an indifference curve and budget line) and monopolistic competition (tangency between demand curve and long-run average cost curve). The tangency between two curves should be contrasted with the condition of intersection, in which two cross at a single point but do not have identical slopes.

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INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: An agency of the United Nations established in 1945 to monitor and stabilize foreign exchange markets. Close to 150 of the world's nations (which is just about all of them) belong to the IMF. The IMF was set up to keep countries from manipulating their exchange rates in such a way as to gain a competitive trading advantage over others. Their strategies of control have changed over the decades, but they currently use a managed float where exchange rates are allowed to fluctuate with changing market conditions, but only within certain ranges. The IMF also plays an active role in providing the "international" currency needed to participate in foreign trade through its system of Special Drawing Rights.

     See also | foreign exchange market | exchange rate | J curve | managed float | fixed exchange rate | floating exchange rate | foreign trade | Special Drawing Rights | World Bank | G-7 |


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FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT BANKS

The 12 government banking institutions that form the core of the U.S. Federal Reserve System and are largely responsible for supervising, regulating, and interacting with commercial banks and carrying out the policies established by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Federal Reserve Banks are often termed bankers' banks in that they provide banking services to commercial banks. The 12 District Banks are supported in their activities by 25 Branch Banks.

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