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January 23, 2022 

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RISK POOLING: Combining the uncertainty of individuals into a calculable risk for large groups. For example, you may or may not contract the flu this year. However, if you're thrown in with 99,999 other people, then health-care types who spend their lives measuring the odds of an illness, can predict that 1 percent of the group, or 1,000 people, will get the flu. The uncertainty is that they probably don't know which 1,000 people, they only know the number afflicted. This little bit of information is what makes risk pooling possible. If the cost is $50 per illness, then an insurance company can insure your 100,000-member group against flu if they collect $50,000 ($50 x 1,000 sick people), or 50 cents per person. By agreeing to pay the cost of each sick person in exchange for the 50 cent payments, the insurance company has effectively pooled the risk of the group.

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HYPOTHESIS: A reasonable proposition about the workings of the world that's inspired or implied by a theory and which may or may not be true. An hypothesis is essentially a prediction made by a theory that can be compared with observations in the real world. Hypotheses usually take the form: "If A, the 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, hypotheses become principles.

     See also | theory | scientific method | science | verification | data | principle | law | sixth rule of ignorance |


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BANK ASSETS

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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During the American Revolution, the price of corn rose 10,000 percent, the price of wheat 14,000 percent, the price of flour 15,000 percent, and the price of beef 33,000 percent.
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