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OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS: The Federal Reserve System's buying and selling of government securities in an effort to alter bank reserves and subsequently the nation's money supply. These actions, under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee, are the Fed's number one, most effective, most often used tool of monetary policy. If, for example, the Fed wants to increase the money supply (termed easy money) it buy's government securities. If the Fed chooses to reduce the money supply (called tight money) it sells some government securities.

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ECONOMIST: A individual, usually a homo sapien, who has received extensive training in economic theories, applications, and analysis and whose primary employment involves the research, teaching, consulting, and other applications of this economic training. Many economists are employed by institutions of higher education for the expressed purpose of enlightening impressionable college students in the wily ways of economic analysis. Other economists are employed by government agencies -- federal, state, and local -- for the expressed purpose of applying economic analysis to important policy decisions.

     See also | American Economic Association | scientific method | social science | economics | forecasting | Adam Smith |


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HYPOTHESIS

A reasonable proposition about the workings of the world that is inspired or implied by a theory and which may or may not be true. A hypothesis is essentially a prediction made by a theory that can be compared with observations in the real world. A hypothesis usually takes the form: "If A, then also B." The essence of the scientific method is to test, or verify, hypotheses against real world data. If supported by data over and over again, a hypothesis becomes a principle.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for a specialty store trying to buy either a T-shirt commemorating the 2000 Presidential election or a really, really exciting, action-filled video game. Be on the lookout for pencil sharpeners with an attitude.
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The first U.S. fire insurance company was established by Benjamin Franklin in 1752 in Philadelphia.
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