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SHERMAN ACT: The first antitrust law passed in the United States in 1890 that outlawed monopoly or any attempts to monopolize a market. This was one of three major antitrust laws passed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The other two were the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Sherman Act was successfully used to break up several noted monopolies in the early 1900s, including the Standard Oil Trust in 1911. However, it was flawed by (1) vague wording that allowed wide interpretation (especially based on political influence) and (2) the lack of an effective means of enforcement other than an extended journey through the court system. These two flaws led to the Federal Trade Commission Act and Clayton Act, both passed in 1914. Although other laws have been passed, the Sherman Act remains the cornerstone of antitrust laws in the United States.

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HEDGE FUND: A mutual fund that relies heavily on hedging practices to protect the value of the financial assets. Such a fund specializes in options, futures, and other financial instruments that provide insurance protection against price fluctuations, and thus limits the risk of loss.

     See also | mutual fund | hedging | hedge | speculation | futures | option | risk | uncertainty | insurance |


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LAW OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

A principle that states that every nation, worker, or production entity has a production activity that incurs a lower opportunity cost than that of another nation, worker, or production entity, which means that trade between the two can be beneficial to both if each specializes in the production of a good with lower relative opportunity cost. This law is most often studied in the confines of international trade, but it also applies to labor and other types of production.

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