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April 16, 2024 

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GOLD STANDARD: Use of gold as the standard for valuing a nation's currency. A gold standard can take at least three different forms, most of which have been part of the American economic landscape. (1) Gold is used as the money in circulation. (2) Gold is used to back up paper money in circulation. This involves the use of something like a gold certificate, such that the number of certificates in circulation is the same as the amount of gold stored someplace like Fort Knox. (3) Gold is used to fix the exchange price of paper currency in circulation. In this case, the currency could, in principle, be exchanged for some predetermined amount of gold. In other words, the price of gold is fixed in terms of dollars.

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CHECK CLEARING: The process in which reserves or funds are transferred among banks to settle the accounts of checks written on one account and deposited into another. Check clearing is the heart and sole of daily banking activity and the final step in the use of checkable deposits as the medium of exchange for conducting transactions in the economy. Check clearing is facilitated by central clearinghouses, including the Federal Reserve System and a number of private organizations. The check clearing process is also a key component of the money creation process.

     See also | money creation | money creation, the process | bank balance sheet | goldsmith banking | goldsmith money creation | deposit expansion multiplier | money multiplier | seigniorage | banks | banking | money | fractional-reserve banking | bank reserves | required reserves | excess reserves | checkable deposits | monetary economics | liquidity | financial markets | commodity money | fiat money | value in use | value in exchange | production | Federal Reserve System | central bank | monetary policy | bank panic | bank run | monetary aggregates |


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AVERAGE TOTAL COST

Total cost per unit of output, found by dividing total cost by the quantity of output. When compared with price (per unit revenue), average total cost (ATC) indicates the per unit profitability of a profit-maximizing firm. Average total cost is one of three average cost concepts important to short-run production analysis. The other two are average fixed cost and average variable cost. A related concept is marginal cost.

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