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YTM: The common abbreviation for yield to maturity, which is the annual rate of return on a financial asset that is held until maturity. Yield to maturity depends on both the coupon rate and the face or par value paid at maturity. If the selling price of a financial asset is equal to its par value, then the yield to maturity is equal to the current yield and the coupon rate. However, if the asset is selling at a discount, then the yield to maturity exceeds the current yield, which is greater than the coupon rate. And if the asset is selling at a premium, then the yield to maturity is less than the current yield, which is below than the coupon rate.

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TANGENCY: A geometric condition that occurs when two curves touch at a single point with identical slopes at that point. This condition of tangency surfaces in several different areas of economic analysis, including indifference curve analysis (tangency between an indifference curve and budget line) and monopolistic competition (tangency between demand curve and long-run average cost curve). The tangency between two curves should be contrasted with the condition of intersection, in which two cross at a single point but do not have identical slopes.

     See also | intersection | graph | economic analysis | indifference curve | budget line | monopolistic competition | demand curve | excess capacity |


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DECISION LAG

The time lag that it takes government leaders and policy makers to determine the appropriate government action needed to address an economic problem. The decision lag arises because it takes time for policy makers to chose among the array of possible policy actions, each with assorted consequences that appeal differently to different political constituencies. This "inside lag" is one of four policy lags associated with monetary and fiscal policy. The other two "inside lags" are recognition lag and implementation lag, and one "outside lag" is implementation lag. All four policy lags can reduce the effectiveness of business-cycle stabilization policies and can even destabilize the economy.

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