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November 20, 2019 

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BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS: An analytical technique that compares the benefit generated by an activity with its opportunity cost of production. The rule is that if benefits exceed costs, then the activity is efficient and should be undertaken. In some cases the end result of benefit-cost analysis is net benefits, which is benefits minus cost. A positive value means the activity is efficient. In other cases the end result of benefit-cost analysis is a benefit-cost ratio, which is benefits divided by costs. A ratio greater than 1.0 is thus the indication of an efficient activity.

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HOLDING COMPANY: A company (usually a corporation) that owns enough stock in another corporation to exercise virtually complete control over its management. Holding companies often own controlling interest in several diverse corporations, allowing it to engage in diverse activities (some of which might be risky) while limiting its liability should problems arise. While holding companies exist in most types of industries, then tend to be quite popular in banking. Through a holding company, a bank can essentially take part in other financial markets (selling insurance, underwriting securities, or acting as a broker) that are beyond the legal authority of the bank itself.

     See also | corporation | financial markets | bank | merger | conglomerate merger |


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VAULT CASH

Paper bills and metal coins kept in bank vaults or elsewhere in banks (such as teller drawers). Vault cash is used, quite literally, to "cash" checks and otherwise to satisfy currency withdrawal demands of the depositors. Because vault cash is in the possession of banks and not the nonbank public, it is not considered as "money in circulation" and is not part of the official M1 money supply. Vault cash is one of two types of bank assets that are considered reserves and used to satisfy reserve requirements. The other is Federal Reserve deposits.

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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
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