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October 22, 2021 

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GOVERNMENT SECURITIES: Financial instruments used by the federal government to borrow money. Government securities are issued by the U.S. Treasury to cover the federal government's budget deficit. Much like consumers who borrow money from banks to finance the purchase of a house or car, the federal government borrows money to finance some of its expenditures. These securities include small denomination ($25, $50, or $100), nonnegotiable Series EE savings bonds purchased by consumers. The really serious money, however, is borrowed using larger denomination securities ($100,000 or more) purchased by banks, corporations, foreign governments, and others with large sums of money to lend.

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CARDINAL: A measurement based on a scale or quantitative numbers, such as 1, 5, or 357.2, that enables a comparison in magnitude. Comparability means, for example, that the difference between 5 and 2 is the same as the difference between 12 and 9. Measures such as height and weight use cardinal numbers. Most economic measures are based on cardinal numbers, including gross domestic product, unemployment rate, the price of chocolate, and the quantity of wheat produced. The benefit of cardinal measurement is the ability to directly compare one measure with another. If, for example, the price of chocolate is $1 a pound and the price of wheat is $4 a pound, then wheat is four times more expensive than chocolate. Ordinal measures, which involve relative ranking, is an alternative type of measure.

     See also | cardinal utility | ordinal | ordinal utility | utility | satisfaction | indifference curve | quality of life |


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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

A comprehensive set of accounts that tracks the flow of currency and other monetary assets coming in to and going out of a nation. These payments are used for international trade, foreign investments, and other financial activities. The balance of payments is divided into two accounts -- current account (which includes payments for imports, exports, services, and transfers) and capital account (which includes payments for physical and financial assets). A deficit in one account is matched by a surplus in the other account. The balance of trade is only one part of the overall balance of payments set of accounts.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time watching infomercials looking to buy either a desktop calendar with all federal and state holidays highlighted or a half-dozen helium filled balloons. Be on the lookout for a thesaurus filled with typos.
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