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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.

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EXPANSION: A phase of the business cycle characterized by a general period of rising economic activity. An expansion is one of two basic business cycle phases. The other is contraction. The transition from expansion to contraction is termed a peak and the transition from contraction to expansion is termed a trough. Expansions last an average of about 3-4 years, but this by no means not guaranteed. An expansion in the early 1980s lasted a mere 12 months. The next expansion then lasted over 8 years. Much of the 1960s was dedicated to a 106-month expansion, almost 9 years.

     See also | business cycle | prosperity | contraction | peak | trough | real gross domestic product | full employment | unemployment rate | inflation | investment | consumption | investment business cycle | political business cycle |


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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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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the shopping mall trying to buy either a T-shirt commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a rotisserie oven that can also toast bread. Be on the lookout for door-to-door salesmen.
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Three-forths of the gold mined each year is used to manufacture jewelry.
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