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HEDGE: A method of protecting against financial (or other types) of loss by counterbalancing an action. This is commonly seen in the financial markets when investors buy options or futures contracts to protect themselves against price changes. A hedge is essentially a form of insurance. An investor hopes the price of a financial asset doesn't fall, but buying a futures or options contract can reduce the loss if this occurs.

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COMPARATIVE STATICS: The technique of comparing the equilibrium resulting from a change in a determinant with the equilibrium prior to the change. Comparative statics is the primary analytical technique used in the study of economics. A popular example of this technique is found in the study of markets. Comparative statics is used to analyze how the equilibrium price and equilibrium quantity are affected by changes in the demand and supply determinants, which are graphically represented by shifts of the respective demand or supply curves.

     See also | equilibrium | ceteris paribus | economic analysis | determinant | market | aggregate market | equilibrium price | equilibrium quantity | demand shock | supply shock | surplus | shortage |


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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.

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