March 23, 2018 

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LOANS: In general, transactions in which legal claims are exchanged for money. The legal claim is typically a contract or promissory note stipulating when and how the money will be repaid. The lender gives up the money and receives the legal claim. The borrower gives up the legal claim and receives the money. A loan can be either an asset or a liability, depending on who does the borrowing and who does the lending. To the borrower, a loan is a liability, something that is owed. The borrower must pay off the loan or repurchase the legal claim. However, to the lender, a loan is an asset, something that is owned. In fact, loans represent a significant part of a bank's assets.

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GAME THEORY: An analysis that illustrates how choices between two plays affect the outcome of a "game." Game theory is commonly used in economics to illustrate interdependent decision-making among oligopoly firms. It illustrates that one firm makes a decision based on the decision expected from the other firm. One key conclusion from the game theory analysis is that firms often make decisions that are "second best" or the "lesser of two evils." The classic example of such a decision is the prisoners' dilemma, in which two prisoners both confess to a crime to avoid harsher punishment when not confessing would avoid any punishment.

     See also | oligopoly | interdependence | prisoners' dilemma | competition among the few | collusion | advertising |

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What a bank owns, including loans, reserves, investment securities, and physical assets. Bank assets are typically listed on the left-hand side of a bank's balance sheet. Bank liabilities, what a bank owes, are listed on the right-hand side of a bank's balance sheet. Net worth is the difference between assets and liabilities. The largest asset category of most bank is loans, which generates interest revenue. A critical asset category used to maintain the safety of deposits is reserves (vault cash and Federal Reserve deposits).

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Junk bonds are so called because they have a better than 50% chance of default, carrying a Standard & Poor's rating of CC or lower.
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