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ZERO BOND: Also termed a zero coupon bond, a bond that does not pay interest, in which the return is generated by the difference between the purchase price and the face value paid at maturity. Because they do not pay interest, zero bonds are sold at a discount. For example, a $10,000 zero bond that matures in one year, would generate a 10% return if it sold at a discount of $9,000.

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MONETARY POLICY: The Federal Reserve System's use of the money supply to stabilize the business cycle. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines the total amount of money circulating around the economy. In principle, the Fed can use three different "tools"--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements--to manipulate the money supply. In practice, however, the primary tool employed is open market operations. To counter a recession, the Fed would undertake expansionary policy, also termed easy money. To reduce inflation, contractionary policy is the order of the day, and goes by the name tight money.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | money | business cycle | stabilization policies | central bank | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Open Market Committee | tight money | easy money | fiscal policy | interest rate | inflation | unemployment | expansionary monetary policy | contractionary monetary policy |


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PERFECT COMPETITION, PROFIT MAXIMIZATION

A perfectly competitive firm is presumed to produce the quantity of output that maximizes economic profit--the difference between total revenue and total cost. This production decision can be analyzed directly with economic profit, by identifying the greatest difference between total revenue and total cost, or by the equality between marginal revenue and marginal cost.

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Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a champion of the scientific method, died when he caught a severe cold while attempting to preserve a chicken by filling it with snow.
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