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REGULATION: Government rules or laws that control the activities of businesses and consumers. The motivation for regulation is that businesses are inclined to do things that are harmful to the public--actions which need to be prevented or otherwise controlled. Regulation is essentially an extension of government's authority to protect one member of society from another. It tends to take one of two forms--(1) industry regulation that's intended to prevent firms from gaining and abusing excessive market control and (2) social regulation that seeks to protect consumers for problems caused by pollution, unsafe products, and the lack of information (market failure).

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FRACTIONAL-RESERVE BANKING: A system in which banks keep less than 100 percent of their deposits in the form of bank reserves and use the rest for interest-paying loans. Banks in the good old U. S. of A., as well as those in most other modern countries, practice this system of fractional-reserve banking.

     See also | bank | bank reserves | money supply | money creation | bank panic | Federal Reserve System | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation | Great Depression | reserves | vault cash | Federal Reserve deposits |


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PROFIT

Generally speaking, the difference between revenue received by a firm for production and cost incurred in the production, or the excess of revenue over cost. Three specific notions of profit exist, each with a different meaning. Accounting profit is the difference between revenue and accounting cost. Economic profit is the difference between revenue and total opportunity cost. Normal profit is opportunity cost of entrepreneurship. Profit is occasionally used synonymously with the term rent, or economic rent.

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The wealthy industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, was once removed from a London tram because he lacked the money needed for the fare.
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