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April 17, 2021 

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REAL INTEREST RATE: The market, or nominal interest rate, after adjusting for inflation. This is the interest rate lenders receive and borrowers pay expressed in real dollars. There two ways to think about the real interest rate, (1) the historical, after-the-fact, interest rate and (2) the desired interest rate lenders and borrowers have in mind when entering into a loan. The first one tells us the purchasing power of any interest payments received or paid. The second way of looking at the real interest rate is based on expectations of the future.

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Keeping The Lid On INFLATION

It's Thursday! It's 2:30 in the afternoon! IT'S PRETZEL TIME!! We must make a brief stop at one of Shady Valley's most acclaimed business establishments -- Max Mulroney's Pretzel Haven. My favorite, of course, is pretzel-on-a-stick. An ample supply of barbecue sauce is standard fair. I'm taken aback! Max has raised his pretzel prices once again -- for the third Thursday in a row. What sort of chicanery is at work here? Is Max trying to gouge the pretzel lovers of Shady Valley? Max says, quite emphatically, NO! His pretzel producing cost has risen. It seems, he explains, to be a pervasive problem throughout Shady Valley. He's not alone in pumping up prices. A quick price checking, window shopping expedition through the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall, Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center, Manny Mustard's House of Sandwiches, and even Dr. Nova Cain's dental office reveals truth to Max's claim. Prices all over Shady Valley are rising. I suspect that there's only one way to unravel the intricacies of this mystery, we're need to examine the topic of inflation.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the shopping mall wanting to buy either a package of blank rewritable CDs or yellow cotton balls. Be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles with darkened windows.
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Much of the $15 million used by the United States to finance the Louisiana Purchase from France was borrowed from European banks.
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