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IMF: The abbreviation for International Monetary Fund, which is an agency of the United Nations established in 1945 to monitor and stabilize foreign exchange markets. Close to 150 of the world's nations (which is just about all of them) belong to the IMF. The IMF was set up to keep countries from manipulating their exchange rates in such a way as to gain a competitive trading advantage over others. Their strategies of control have changed over the decades, but they currently use a managed float where exchange rates are allowed to fluctuate with changing market conditions, but only within certain ranges. The IMF also plays an active role in providing the "international" currency needed to participate in foreign trade through its system of Special Drawing Rights.

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CAPITALISM: A type of economy based on -- (1) private ownership of most resources, goods, and other stuff (private property); (2) freedom to generally use the privately-owned resources, goods, and other stuff to get the most wages, rent, interest, and profit possible; and (3) a system of relatively competitive markets. While government establishes the legal "rules of the game" for capitalism and provides assorted public goods, like national defense, education, and infrastructure, most production, consumption, and resource allocation decisions are left up to individual businesses and consumers. The term capitalism is derived from the notion that capital goods are under private, rather than government, ownership (compare communism, socialism.

     See also | market | capital | competition | private sector | public sector | free market | laissez faire | efficiency | allocation | government | resources | public good | production | consumption | incentive | equity | income distribution | distribution standards | second estate |


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AVERAGE FIXED COST CURVE

A curve that graphically represents the relation between average fixed cost incurred by a firm in the short-run product of a good or service and the quantity produced. This curve is constructed to capture the relation between average fixed cost and the level of output, holding other variables, like technology and resource prices, constant. The average fixed cost curve is one of three average curves. The other two are average total cost curve and average variable cost curve. A related curve is the marginal cost curve.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club seeking to buy either a how-to book on home remodeling or a tall storage cabinet with five shelves and a secure lock. Be on the lookout for mail order catalogs with hidden messages.
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Two and a half gallons of oil are needed to produce one automobile tire.
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