Economics Articles

  1. How Banks Set Interest Rates On Your Loans

    On the face of it, figuring out how a bank makes money is a pretty straightforward affair. A bank earns a spread on the money it lends out from the money it takes in as a deposit. The net interest margin (NIM), which most banks report quarterly, represents this spread, which is simply the difference between what it earns on loans versus what it pays out as interest on deposits.
  2. An Analysis Of Social Security Benefits And Their Future

    Social Security is a significant driver of the US economy--as good a reason as any to make sure you understand it!
  3. How the Cost of Living Affects Your Income

    Do you know all the ways cost of living increases can affect your income?
  4. What Exactly is a Socialist Economy?

    Socialism's role in the world has changed dramatically in the last several decades.
  5. Great Company Or Growing Industry?

    Look at the big picture when choosing a company - what you see may really be a stage in its industry's growth.
  6. How Countries Deal With Debt

    For many emerging economies, issuing sovereign debt is the only way to raise funds, but things can go sour quickly.
  7. Four Ways to Increase Your Corporate Bond Exposure

    Looking at the corporate bond market over the past few years, we see that there has been a growing demand for both investment grade and high yield corporate bonds.
  8. The Rise And Fall Of The Shadow Banking System

    We look at the evolution, failure and fallout from the shadow banking system.
  9. How Inflation Affects Your Cost of Living

    How will your wallet be impacted by inflation?
  10. Socialist Economies: How China, Cuba And North Korea Work

    What is socialist economics in the context of Cuba, China and North Korea?
  11. The Taylor Rule: An Economic Model For Monetary Policy

    This interest rate forecasting model has helped central banks around the world adjust their rates to balance out inflation.
  12. This is What the Fed’s Monetary Policy Means To You

    It’s a good thing for everyone concerned with their finances to take five minutes or so to find out what the Federal Reserve next move will be.
  13. As Boomers Slow Down, Will The Economy Follow?

    Many baby boomers are working past 65. Yet as they inevitably retire, effects on workforce participation and consumer spending levels will be profound.
  14. Why You Should Invest In This Vibrant Asian Nation

    Other than tourism and a recent military coup, what's there for investors to know about Thailand? Plenty.
  15. Is it Time to Prepare for Inflation?

    While U.S. inflation remains at historic lows, it has ticked up recently, leaving many investors fearing rising prices.
  16. More Volatility Ahead?

    Despite recent market swings, volatility is still low by historic standards, suggesting that markets aren’t taking into account the prospect of bad news.
  17. How Big Are Emerging Markets?

    Satistical studies of GDP in emerging markets have been in the news recently. One calculation indicated that the Chinese economy could be close to the U.S.
  18. 5 Reasons Why Low Rates May be Harmful To The Economy

    Like quantitative easing before it, the Fed’s zero interest rate policy may actually be inhibiting economic growth and job creation in unintended ways.
  19. Why Inflation Is Still A Threat To Your Retirement

    One reason people tend to underestimate their retirement saving needs is that they fail to properly account for the impact of inflation.
  20. The Biggest Threat To The Housing Recovery

    Despite a run of positive economic news that most recently includes a surge in new home sales, you have to be prepared for the possibility of a setback.
  21. Are Stock ETF Investors Placing Too Much Faith In The Fed?

    For one thing, inflation-adjusted spending declined over the last few months. That cannot be a strong sign for the U.S
  22. Boom or Bust? The End of China's One-Child Policy

    China's easing of its one-child policy has demographers speculating whether it'll lead to a baby boom. Here's why it might not.
  23. Supply, Demand and Interest Rates: Why One thing Leads to Another

    A recent report from the Federal Reserve reveals a disconnect in global bond supply and demand, which partially explains why interest rates have fallen so far in 2014.
  24. What is the OIS LIBOR Spread And What Is It For?

    When the LIBOR-OIS spread rises significantly, it represents the worry that banks might not be able to pay down even their short-term debt obligations.
  25. 3 “Risk-Off” Signs For ETF Investors

    Warning signs that ETF investors may wish to follow.
  26. What Is The Relationship Between The Federal Funds, Prime And LIBOR Rates?

    The prime rate and LIBOR rate, two of the most prominent benchmark rates, tend to track the federal funds rate closely over time. However, during periods of economic turmoil, LIBOR appears more likely to diverge from the central bank’s key rate to a greater extent.
  27. Will OIS Replace LIBOR?

    LIBOR manipulation by large banks during the financial crisis has raised serious doubts about the interest rate's reliability. Now, the question is whether to reform the rate or replace it with another benchmark such as OIS.
  28. Russian Interests

    Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain high, and have spilled onto the international stage.
  29. Why a Rise In the National Debt Is Good for You

    In the first quarter of the year, the household national debt for Americans was $129 billion. Yet contrary to popular belief, debt is not always a bad thing.
  30. These Sectors Benefit From Rising Interest Rates

    You've adjusted your debt portfolio to prepare for rising interest rates; now what about your equity holdings? Here are some sectors and companies to keep an eye on.
  31. What Is ICE LIBOR And What Is It Used For?

    In the case of ICE LIBOR, an innocent-sounding set of letters has a profound bearing on every loan you make.
  32. Four Market Risks to Focus on This Summer

    Four market risks to pay attention to this summer.
  33. 5 Funds to Fight Inflation

    Judging by the price action and performance of conventional inflation hedges over the last 12 months, it appears the investing public's worries over inflation are nearly non-existent.
  34. America The Youthful? Yes, On a Relative Basis

    While the United States is aging at a much slower pace than much of the rest of the world, the U.S. population will almost certainly continue to age.
  35. How To Protect Yourself From Rising Interest Rates

    Today's historically low interest rates have just one way to go. How should you prepare for their inevitable rise?
  36. Millennials: Let’s Grab A Beer, Burger and a Movie In 2064

    Asking a 25-year old to save money for his 75-year old future self is like asking him to give money to a stranger. But if you put the future in more relatable terms saving may start to make sense.
  37. Japan’s 20-Year Deflationary Spiral Is About To End

    With this month’s hike in the consumption tax from 5% to 8%, investors are fearful that history may repeat itself.
  38. Thoughts from the Frontline: The Cost of Code Red

    Thoughts from the Frontline: The Cost of Code Red
  39. State Employment Trends: Does a Low Tax/Right-to-Work/Low Minimum Wage Regime Correlate to Growth?

    Employment in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, as in Governor Brownback’s Kansas, has lagged behind that of the United States (and behind that of Governor Dayton’s Minnesota and Governor Brown’s California).
  40. Connecting the Dots on Fed Policy

    A close look at how the Fed decides which path to follow.
  41. Outside the Box: Hoisington Investment Mgmt Review and Outlook, Q1 2014

    Outside the Box: Hoisington Investment Management Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2014
  42. Why Stick With Energy Stocks? (Hint: Geopolitical Risk)

    By most fundamental measures, oil prices should be declining. Russ explains why they’re on the rise instead, how this has helped energy stocks in 2014 and why investors should still consider an overweight to the global energy sector.
  43. Are We Setting Ourselves Up For Another Financial Crisis?

    “More money has been lost because of four words than at the point of a gun. Those words are, ‘This time is different.’”
  44. Thoughts From The Frontline: Every Central Bank For Itself

    Thoughts from the Frontline: Every Central Bank for Itself
  45. The Insiders Who Fix Rates for Gold, Currencies And Libor

    The system by which benchmark rates are fixed for interest rates, currencies and gold is archaic - and, many would argue, deeply flawed.
  46. Quantitative Easing: Does It Work?

    This controversial monetary policy has been used by some of the world's most powerful economies. But does it work?
  47. Sanctions Between Countries Pack a Bigger Punch Than You Might Think

    In response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, in March 2014 the West slapped sanctions on dozens of Russian hotshots. So what, you ask? Well, sancitons can pack a bigger punch than you might think.
  48. Obama Budget Released: Who Are The Winners And Losers?

    Tuesday President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2015 that includes new programs for education and rebuilding infrastructure while it also seeks to balance income inequality.
  49. What Will Happen To Treasury Yields With Yellen And Tapering?

    Janet Yellen was sworn in as Federal Reserve chair Feb. 3, 2014, ending Ben Bernanke's eight-year tenure. Yellen assumes her role at a time when the economy is its strongest since the recession ended in mid-2009.
  50. The Austrian School Of Economics

    Investopedia explains: If you think economists are only concerned with numbers, check out the Austrian School, who are more like economic philosophers.
  51. Introduction To Supply And Demand

    Find out all about supply and demand and how it relates to your daily purchases.
  52. Accelerating Returns With Continuous Compounding

    Investopedia explains the natural log and exponential functions used to calculate this value.
  53. A Study On The Wealth Effect And The Economy

    The notion that the wealth effect spurs personal consumption makes sense intuitively. After all, wouldn’t you be more inclined to buy that big-screen TV or SUV if your house or stock portfolio had appreciated nicely and you were sitting on huge gains?
  54. How To Profit During High Inflation

    Some companies are better than others at pivoting their strategies to overcome inflation or other cost-increasing concerns. The best companies can push cost increases out to the market quickly (think gas companies), allowing them to stay profitable even during cost volatility.
  55. Calculating Covariance For Stocks

    Learn how to figure out how two stocks might move together in the future by calculating covariance.
  56. The Importance Of The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)

    The PMI is the headline indicator in the ISM Manufacturing Report on Business, an influential monthly survey of purchasing and supply executives across the United States. The acronym PMI stood for Purchasing Managers’ Index prior to September 1, 2001.
  57. Fed’s Yellen Risks Inflation Spiral With Unemployment Target

    The Fed may be treading on dangerous ground by lowering its unemployment target for determining when to end the central bank's bond buying program.
  58. Seven Market Anomalies Investors Should Know

    Though they're unpredictable and heavily contested, market anomalies can often work in an investor's favor.
  59. Philly Fed Survey: Valuable To Investors?

    For many investors, the Philly Fed's monthly manufacturing survey provides important clues about the direction of the economy. But trading on the monthly report is probably best left to the professionals since it has a very short-term impact on the market.
  60. The Interest Rates: APR, APY And EAR

    When most people shop for financial products, all they focus on is the listed interest rate. Human eyes instinctively dismiss the fine print, which usually includes the terms APR (annual percentage rate) and APY (annual percentage yield) – or to use a synonym for the latter, EAR (effective annual rate) – as just arcane trios of letters.
  61. The GDP And Its Importance

    GDP is an accurate indication of an economy's size. In terms of its ability to convey information about the economy in one number, few data points can match the GDP and its growth rate.
  62. The Fundamentals Of Forex Fundamentals

    Charting is not the only way to analyze the foreign-exchange market. Learn how to apply fundamental analysis to the economic indicators.
  63. The Unemployment Rate: Get Real

    Depending on how it's measured, the unemployment rate is open to interpretation. Learn how to find the real rate.
  64. The Intelligent Investor: Benjamin Graham

    Learn about the man who mentored Warren Buffett, who eventually became the investing "Oracle of Omaha".
  65. What Are The Odds Of Scoring A Winning Trade?

    Just because you're on a winning streak doesn't mean you're a skilled trader. Find out why.
  66. Five Rules To Improve Your Financial Health

    Learn five broad personal finance rules that can help get you on track to achieving specific financial goals.
  67. Advanced Game Theory Strategies For Decision-Making

    The importance of game theory to modern analysis and decision-making can be gauged by the fact that since 1970, as many as 12 leading economists and scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their contributions to game theory.
  68. The Big Squeeze On Your Wallet

    The Federal Reserve has been printing money to cover some of our debts, but how long can they do so without spawning hyperinflation?
  69. Utilizing Prisoner’s Dilemma In Business And The Economy

    The Prisoner’s Dilemma, one of the most famous game theories, provides a framework for understanding how to strike a balance between cooperation and competition, and is a very useful tool for strategic decision-making. As a result, it finds application in diverse areas ranging from business, finance, economics and political science to philosophy, psychology, biology and sociology.
  70. Understanding Supply-Side Economics

    Does the amount of goods and services produced set the pace for economic growth? Here are the arguments.
  71. What You Need To Know About The Employment Report

    This widely watched indicator of economic well-being directly influences the market.
  72. Why And When Do Countries Default?

    Countries can, and periodically do, default on their debt. This happens when the government is either unable or unwilling to make good on its fiscal promises.
  73. Reading The MBA Mortgage Purchase Index

    By following the trend shown in the MBA Purchase Index, investors can identify investment opportunities in businesses that are poised to benefit, and find cautionary signals around industries and companies that are likely to suffer.
  74. The U.S. National Spending And Debt

    Just like any average American household, government overspending can carry on for extended periods by rolling over debt and borrowing more and more money in what seems like a never-ending game of chasing our tail.
  75. How Much Influence Does The Fed Have?

    Find out how current financial policies may affect your portfolio's future returns.
  76. What The National Debt Means To You

    The U.S. deficit seems to grow every year. But how does it actually affect you?
  77. Debt Monetization: A Nearsighted Government Policy?

    We look at whether this financial practice benefits a government in the long term.
  78. What Is Fiscal Policy?

    Learn how governments adjust taxes and spending to moderate the economy.
  79. Interesting Facts About Imports And Exports

    Imports and exports exert a profound influence on the consumer and the economy. Learn what affects these figures, and in turn how these figures affect the economy.
  80. Adam Smith: The Father Of Economics

    This free thinker promoted free trade at a time when governments controlled most commercial interests.
  81. A Look At National Debt And Government Bonds

    Learn the functions of the U.S. Treasury, and find out how and why it issues debt.
  82. Monetarism: Printing Money To Curb Inflation

    Learn how Milton Friedman's monetarist views shaped economic policy after World War II.
  83. How Interest Rates Affect Property Values

    When interest rates fall, real estate prices tend to increase. Why? Find out here.
  84. How To Read The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

    The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index has provided a key leading indicator for investors and economists for decades. This respected index is published monthly from the results of random telephone surveys.
  85. Trading With The Jobless Claims Report

    Introduction to the jobless claims report. This article looks at what jobless claims tell us about the economy's health and how to interpret the data contained in the release.
  86. Understanding The Consumer Confidence Index

    We look at this closely watched economic indicator to see what it means and how it's calculated.
  87. How To Manage Lifestyle Inflation

    Learn how to manage your finances so that making extra money actually equates to getting ahead.
  88. How Analyzing Economic Trends Will Help You Save Money

    It may seem like a tactic for active traders, but following economic trends can help you to save and make money.
  89. Introduction To Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)

    If you want to protect your portfolio from inflation, all you need are a few TIPS.
  90. Introduction To Coincident And Lagging Economic Indicators

    Investors can learn a lot, or very little, from these indicators once they know how to use them.
  91. Nobel Winners Are Economic Prizes

    Before you try to profit from their theories, you should learn about the creators themselves.
  92. Breaking Down The Balance Of Trade

    The balance of trade is a key indicator of a nation’s health. Investors and market professionals appear more concerned with trade deficits than trade surpluses, since chronic deficits may be a precursor to a currency devaluation.
  93. Understanding Interest Rates: Nominal, Real And Effective

    Interest rates can be broken down into several subcategories that incorporate various factors such as inflation. Smart investors know to look beyond the nominal or coupon rate of a bond or loan to see whether it really fits their investment objectives.
  94. How To Profit From Inflation

    Inflation - defined as a sustained increase in the price of goods and services - seems to be inevitable. While rising prices are bad news for consumers, as it takes an ever-increasing amount of money to purchase the same basket of goods and services year after year, inflation can be quite profitable for investors.
  95. Why High-Income Earners Are Not Safe From The Threat Of Bankruptcy

    Few people have much sympathy for the woes of those earning six figure or more each year. But, given that high-income earners drive economic expansion, the risks and problems facing high earners must be addressed if the U.S. is to sustain a long-term recovery.
  96. Regression Basics For Business Analysis

    This tool is easy to use and can provide valuable information on financial analysis and forecasting. Find out how.
  97. Forces Behind Interest Rates

    Get a deeper understanding of the importance of interest rates and what makes them change.
  98. Breaking Down The Geometric Mean

    Understanding portfolio performance, whether for a self-managed, discretionary portfolio or a non-discretionary portfolio, is vital to determining whether the portfolio strategy is working or needs to be amended. There are numerous ways to measure performance and determine if the strategy is successful.
  99. Tracking Volatility: How The VIX Is Calculated

    When market volatility spikes or stalls, newspapers, websites, bloggers and television commentators all refer to the VIX®. Formally known as the CBOE Volatility Index, the VIX is a benchmark index designed specifically to track S&P 500 volatility.
  100. How To Survive When Prices Double Every Day And A Half

    Hyperinflation can destroy your life savings in a matter of months or less. We’ve seen again and again throughout history…Germany in the 1920s, Hungary in the 1940s, Yugoslavia in the 1990s and Zimbabwe just a few short years ago. Hardest hit are seniors who generally don’t have many employment options for boosting their income.
Trading Center