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HARD CURRENCY: Historically money that is in the form of precious metals, especially gold. In modern times, any national currency that is expected to retain its value (and even appreciate in value), and is readily acceptable for most international transactions. The U.S. dollar, German marc, and Swiss franc tend to be near the top of the list of hard currencies (also termed hard money).

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GENERAL STRIKE: A strike by a majority of the workers in key industries throughout a country in a particular region of the country. This type of strike is different in both magnitude and intent than that of a strike against a specific firm or industry. In particular, a general strike involves virtually every union regardless of industry or occupation. In addition, the intent of a general strike is to bring the economy to a standstill as a means of forcing major structural changes in the economy or society. Such a strike has been effectively used from time to time, but because it does shut down the economy and imposes hardships on almost everyone.

     See also | labor union movement | organized labor | strike | sympathy strike | labor union |


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FEDERAL FUNDS RATE

The interest rate charged by one commercial bank or depository institution for lending Federal Reserve deposits to another commercial bank or depository institution. This is the interest rate determined in the Federal funds market. The Federal funds rate is a key interest rate for both the banking system and the macroeconomy. It is often targeted by monetary policy and is a benchmark used to determine other interest rates in the economy.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs hoping to buy either a remote controlled ceiling fan or a how-to book on home decorating. Be on the lookout for telephone calls from former employers.
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