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EXCESS RESERVES: The amount of bank reserves over and above those that the Federal Reserve System requires a bank to keep. Excess reserves are what banks use to make loans. If a bank has more excess reserves, then it can make more loans. This is a key part of the Fed's ability to control the money supply. Using open market operations, the Fed can add to, or subtract from, the excess reserves held by banks. If the Fed, for example, adds to excess reserves, then banks can make more loans. Banks make these loans by adding to their customers' checking account balances. This is of some importance, because checking account balances are an major part of the economy's money supply. In essence, controlling these excess reserves is the Fed's number one method of "printing" money without actually printing money.

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SURPLUS: A condition in the market in which the quantity supplied is greater than the quantity demanded at the existing price. A surplus occasionally goes by the terms excess supply and buyers' market. A surplus causes a decrease in the equilibrium price.

     See also | market | quantity demanded | quantity supplied | price | excess supply | buyers' market | shortage | disequilibrium | market disequilibrium |


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ASSUMPTIONS, KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS

The macroeconomic study of Keynesian economics relies on three key assumptions--rigid prices, effective demand, and savings-investment determinants. First, rigid or inflexible prices prevent some markets from achieving equilibrium in the short run. Second, effective demand means that consumption expenditures are based on actual income, not full employment or equilibrium income. Lastly, important savings and investment determinants include income, expectations, and other influences beyond the interest rate. These three assumptions imply that the economy can achieve a short-run equilibrium at less than full-employment production.

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