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OKUN'S LAW: A relationship that says that the gap between actual and full employment output level of gross domestic product widens by 3.0% for each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate. When Arthur Okun discovered this empirical relationship he was on President Kennedy's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Okun cautioned that the relationship was valid only within unemployment rates of 3% and 7.5%.

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TRADING BLOC: A group of countries that are economically intertwined, share some common cultural background, are located close together, and coordinate their foreign trade policies. There are three trading blocs of note, North America, Europe, and Asia, although other portions of the globe aspire to this status. The North American bloc centers around the good old U. S. of A. with Canada and Mexico playing increasingly important roles. The European bloc contains most of the Western Europe with leading roles played by Germany, Britain, and France. Japan is the center of the Asian bloc that includes Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and several others.

     See also | foreign trade | trade barrier | North American Free Trade Agreement | General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade | unilateral | multilateral | bilateral | free trade |


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EQUILIBRIUM

A state that exists when opposing forces are in balance, with each force exactly offsetting the other, such that there is no inherent tendency for change. Once achieved, an equilibrium persists unless or until it is disrupted by an outside force. The notion of equilibrium is an essential feature in most economic models, such as the market model.

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Junk bonds are so called because they have a better than 50% chance of default, carrying a Standard & Poor's rating of CC or lower.
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