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ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES: In 1948, 21 nations of the hemisphere met in Bogota, Colombia, to adopt the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS). Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the Caribbean, as well as Canada. Currently, all 35 independent countries of the Americas have ratified the OAS Charter and belong to the Organization. Cuba remains a member, but its government has been excluded from participation in the OAS since 1962. The OAS is the region's premier political forum for multilateral dialogue and action. Among OAS' major goals they work for strengthening freedom of speech and thought as a basic human right, promoting greater participation by civil society in decision-making at all levels of government, improving cooperation to address the problem of illegal drugs and supporting the process to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas.

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STOCK MARKET: A financial market that trades ownership shares in corporations--corporate stock. The three best known, national stock markets in the United States are the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the National Association of Securities Dealers. There are also a few regional markets--the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pacific exchanges are the most notable that trade stock on a smaller scale. Other countries that use corporations to produce stuff, all of the industrialized ones, also have stock markets. The biggest and most worthy of attention are in Tokyo, London, Toronto, Frankfurt, and Paris. Stock markets play a vital role in our economy, making it possible for businesses to raise the large sums of money needed for investment.

     See also | financial markets | corporate stock | New York Stock Exchange | American Stock Exchange | National Association of Securities Dealers | Dow Jones averages | Standard & Poor's 500 | NASDAQ |


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MARKET FAILURES

Imperfections in the exchange process between buyers and sellers that prevent markets from efficiently allocating scarce resources. Market failures come in four varieties -- public goods, market control, externalities, and imperfect information. Market efficiency is achieved if the value of goods produced is equal to the value of foregone production. Markets fail when this efficiency condition is not achieved. Such failures can only be corrected by government intervention.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time searching for rummage sales trying to buy either a birthday gift for your grandmother or a T-shirt commemorating yesterday. Be on the lookout for neighborhood pets, especially belligerent parrots.
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The Dow Jones family of stock market price indexes began with a simple average of 11 stock prices in 1884.
"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine."

-- Anthony J. D'Angelo

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Bank of Japan
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