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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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MONETARY POLICY: The Federal Reserve System's use of the money supply to stabilize the business cycle. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines the total amount of money circulating around the economy. In principle, the Fed can use three different "tools"--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements--to manipulate the money supply. In practice, however, the primary tool employed is open market operations. To counter a recession, the Fed would undertake expansionary policy, also termed easy money. To reduce inflation, contractionary policy is the order of the day, and goes by the name tight money.

     See also | Federal Reserve System | money | business cycle | stabilization policies | central bank | open market operations | discount rate | reserve requirements | Federal Open Market Committee | tight money | easy money | fiscal policy | interest rate | inflation | unemployment | expansionary monetary policy | contractionary monetary policy |


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RECESSIONARY GAP

The difference between the equilibrium real production achieved in the short-run aggregate market and full-employment real production that occurs when short-run equilibrium real production is less than full-employment real production. A recessionary gap, also termed a contractionary gap, is associated with a business-cycle contraction. This is one of two alternative output gaps that can occur when short-run equilibrium generates production that differs from full employment. The other is an inflationary gap.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a dollar discount store looking to buy either a 50 foot extension cord or a combination CD player, clock radio, and telephone (with answering machine). Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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The first "Black Friday" on record, a friday marked by a major financial catastrophe, occurred on September 24, 1869 -- A FRIDAY -- when an attempted cornering of the gold market induced a financial crises and economy-wide depression.
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