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BANK FAILURE: In principle, this results when a bank's liabilities exceed assets for an extended period and the bank is forced to go out of business. This is comparable to other types of business that go bankrupt. However, because banks are heavily regulated by government entities, including the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Comptroller of the Currency, bank failure does not necessarily mean that the bank ceases to operated. In may cases, such a failure means the operation of the bank is take over by one of the government entities. The troubled bank might also be allowed or "encouraged" to merge with another, healthier bank.

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CETERIS PARIBUS: A Latin term meaning that all other factors are held unchanged. The ceteris paribus assumption is used to isolate the effect one economic factor has on another. Without this assumption, it would be difficult to determine cause and effect in the economy. Relaxing the ceteris paribus assumption is the primary analytical technique used in the study of economics, especially when analyzing the market. Much like a chemist adds one chemical at a time to a mixture to determine the resulting reaction, an economist relaxes one ceteris paribus assumption at a time to observe the results.

     See also | assumption | cause and effect | economic analysis | comparative statics | determinants | market adjustment |


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AVERAGE VARIABLE COST

Total variable cost per unit of output, found by dividing total variable cost by the quantity of output. When compared with price (per unit revenue), average variable cost (AVC) indicates whether or not a profit-maximizing firm should shut down production in the short run. Average variable cost is one of three average cost concepts important to short-run production analysis. The other two are average total cost and average fixed cost. A related concept is marginal cost.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at an auction wanting to buy either a cell phone case or a pair of designer sunglasses. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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