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May 25, 2022 

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ASSET: Something that you own. For a person, assets can be financial, like money, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and government securities, or they can be physical things, like cars, boats, houses, clothes, food, and land. The important assets for our economy are the output we have produced and the resources, capital, and natural resources used to produce that output.

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BANK: A financial organization that accepts deposits, makes loans, and directly controls a significant portion of the nation's money supply. In the olden days of the economy (before 1980), a bank was easy to identify because it had the word "bank" in it's name -- such as "First National Bank", "Second National Bank", etc. However, after several laws were passed in the early 1980s to reform and deregulate the banking industry, the term bank has come to functionally include other financial institutions that previously went by the titles of "Savings and Loan," "Credit Union," and "Mutual Savings Banks." These institutions are operationally considered banks because they all perform "banking" functions -- especially accepting checking account deposits and making loans.

     See also | deposits | loans | money supply | Federal Reserve System | financial intermediary | saving | business sector | investment | fractional-reserve banking | bank panic | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation | savings and loan association | credit union | mutual savings bank |


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PLASTIC MONEY

A slang phrase for credit cards, especially when such cards used to make purchases. The "plastic" portion of this term refers to the plastic construction of credit cards, as opposed to paper and metal of currency. The "money" portion is an erroneous reference to credit cards as a form of money, which they are not. Although credit cards do facilitate transactions, because they are a liability rather than an asset, they are not money and not part of the economy's money supply.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time calling an endless list of 800 numbers looking to buy either a large flower pot shaped like a Greek urn or a small palm tree that will fit on your coffee table. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from long-lost relatives.
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In his older years, Andrew Carnegie seldom carried money because he was offended by its sight and touch.
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