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Easy Economics A Visual Guide to What You Need to Know

ISBN-10: 1118118065
ISBN-13: 9781118118061
Edition: 2012
List price: $18.99 Buy it from $14.93
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Description: Economic analysis can be applied to every conceivable area of life. Unfortunately, few of us have much grip on economics even though economic literacy is vital to all we do in business, healthcare, education, the environment, crime, and the family.  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 12/23/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 252
Size: 9.75" wide x 7.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Economic analysis can be applied to every conceivable area of life. Unfortunately, few of us have much grip on economics even though economic literacy is vital to all we do in business, healthcare, education, the environment, crime, and the family. This book aims to bring you up to speed, in a way that entertains while it informs, through a collection of many of the most frequently asked questions--plus some you probably haven't thought of--on the subject of economics. The topics range from: What drives business cycles Fiscal and monetary policy Globalization Stock and bond markets Whether a home will ever again be the best investment Unlike so many other books on the subject, it explains through a Q & A format with entertaining and informative illustration, providing material that many people ordinarily find uninviting and even intimidating in an easy-to-digest, appealing way.

LEE SMITH is a Middle East correspondent for The Weekly Standard. He has written for Slate, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a variety of Arab media outlets. He is also a visiting fellow of the Hudson Institute. A native of New York, he lives in Beirut.

Lee Smith is a novelist, short story writer, and educator. She was born in 1944 in Grundy, Virginia. Smith attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. In her senior year at Hollins, Smith entered a Book-of-the-Month Club contest, submitting a draft of a novel called The Last Day the Dog Bushes Bloomed. The book, one of 12 entries to receive a fellowship, was published in 1968. Smith wrote reviews for local papers and continued to write short stories. Smith received O. Henry Awards in 1978 and 1980 and in 1981, her first collection of short stories, Cakewalk, was published. Smith taught at North Carolina State University. Her novel, Oral History, published in 1983, was a Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection. Smith has received the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Award, the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction, the North Carolina Award for Fiction, and the Academy Award in Literature presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Money
It's fairy dust, but because we believe in it, it works
What happened before there was money?
When did barter become popular?
Isn't barter an awkward way to trade?
How did traders get around that complication?
When did coins appear?
Who decides what money is?
When did paper money begin?
What did early Americans use for money?
How did we get to the dollar bill?
If it isn't backed by gold, what makes the dollar mighty?
When did checking accounts start?
Why did electronic money catch on?
Will paper money disappear?
Whatever happened to barter?
Booms & Busts
As smart as they are, the pros can't remove all the bone-rattling bumps
What do the experts mean when they say the economy is doing well or is doing poorly?
What makes up the GDP?
What makes the GDP grow?
When is the economy booming?
Why is overheating bad?
What's productivity?
How does an overheated economy cool down?
Is that what causes a recession?
What is deflation?
How do you end a recession?
How long can a bust last?
Taxing & Spending
Policy makers often argue over which is a better steering wheel
What is fiscal policy?
Who controls tax policy?
Where do taxes come from?
How come the rich get away without paying taxes?
What's a flat tax?
What's a consumption tax?
Who decides how to spend money?
How can government spending increase GDP and employment?
Does it work?
Can government cut taxes to speed up the economy?
Can government increase taxes to slow down the economy?
What's the bottom line? Are government spending and taxing good ways to fix a troubled economy?
Getting Into Debt
It's been around from the beginning, but the cause has become more worrisome
What's the difference between deficit and debt?
How can the U.S. spend more money than it takes in?
Should the government ever borrow?
When is borrowing wrong?
How much debt is too much?
How long can the U.S. get away with this?
Do we need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution?
So how do we get out of this mess?
What are entitlements?
So will Social Security be eliminated?
The Fed
This very powerful institution performs a kind of magic
If the Federal Reserve can't prevent banking failures, who needs it?
So what does the Fed do?
What's monetary policy?
Why not just make as much money available as people want?
How does the Fed set monetary policy?
How does the Fed increase and decrease the amount of money available in the economy?
Where does the Fed get the money to buy bonds?
So the Fed doesn't print money?
How does the Fed destroy money?
But where does it go?
How does the Fed's buying bonds on Wall Street increase the amount of money in the pockets of ordinary consumers and businesses?
Does the Fed's selling government bonds on Wall Street decrease the amount of money in the pockets of ordinary consumers and businesses?
How does the Fed influence interest rates?
What's the Fed funds rate?
Does the Fed have any control over rates on longer loans, such as car loans and mortgages?
High-Flying Finance
The Wall Street elite can make the planet tremble
Who were the first financiers?
How did Wall Street and big-time finance get started?
How do big companies finance themselves today?
How do new high-tech companies get financed?
What caused the financial crisis of 2007-2009?
What is leverage?
How do you "short" a stock?
What are hedge funds?
What are private equity funds?
What are derivatives?
Why do derivatives have a bad name?
What's a speculative bubble?
Globalization
Nowhere to hide: Everywhere is connected to everywhere else
What is globalization?
Can Americans own and operate companies overseas?
What are financial and capital flows?
Is globalization good or bad?
How does trade affect inflation?
What is the balance of trade?
Must a country be in balance with every trading partner?
What happens when a country runs a trade deficit?
What is the balance of payments?
Is it bad for a country when its currency is cheap?
Do countries manipulate currencies to keep them cheap?
What does the World Trade Organization do?
What's the World Bank?
What's the International Monetary Fund?
What is the G-20?
What is the World Economic Forum?
Ripples and Waves
What happens next? How to anticipate the possible consequences of economic events
Key Words and Phrases
A glossary to help you understand a complex economic world
Index page

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