Economics

Curious about capitalism, the monetary system or white collar crime? Check out these articles. The Economics Channel defines and explores economic terms and controversies.

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Initial public offerings have been around for centuries – every company with shares that are publicly traded on the stock market had an IPO at one point. Find out what an IPO is and how it makes people rich.

By Ed Grabianowski & Patrick J. Kiger

Counterfeiting has become easier with the availability of quality scanners and printers. But the U.S. Treasury has fought back by adding several hard-to-copy features to the bank notes. How can you spot a fake?

By Marshall Brain & Dave Roos

What exactly is the cost of money? What are the fundamentals of exchanging dollars for other currency? We'll explore these questions, plus give tips for money-changing travelers.

By Ed Grabianowski

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With the introduction of the new $20 bill, the U.S. Treasury has introduced a whole new element to the dollar: color. Learn about the new look of the currency and about the benefits of the new features.

By Katherine Neer

What is currency, exactly? We all know currency is a piece of paper or metal you can trade for stuff you need or want, but who decides what your money is worth? And why does its value fluctuate?

By Ed Grabianowski

The idea that someone can "steal" your identity is very unsettling. Find out how identity theft works and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

By Lee Ann Obringer

Practiced pickpockets are nimble and intelligent -- and they look just like everyone else. You'll be amazed at how easily they can rob you without you even noticing.

By Tom Harris

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The Fed: It's a very mysterious part of the government. But if you own a house, have a bank account or write checks, the Federal Reserve System affects your life every day.

By Lee Ann Obringer

What goes up must come down: Periodic recessions are a natural part of any nation's economic cycle. Who decides when the economy is in recession, and on what grounds?

By Tom Harris

Believe it or not, the Euro was the idea of Winston Churchill in 1946, when he suggested the creation of the "United States of Europe."

By Lee Ann Obringer

The inventor's best friend (or worst enemy) is the patent system: If you're the first to come up with an idea, it's yours. But, if somebody beat you to it, it's back to the drawing board. Learn about patents.

By Tom Harris

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Companies, such as Coke, are famous for protecting their "trade secret." What exactly is a trade secret and is it any different from patents? Find out the answer to this question in this article.

On the first or second page of many books, near the copyright notice, there is often a series of numbers that go "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Why are these numbers there?

Why are most national contests in the United States, void in Rhode Island? And what does "void where prohibited" mean? Also, why are these contests open only to U.S. (and sometimes Canadian) residents?

Campaign contributions are divided into "soft money and "hard money." What do these terms mean, exactly? And why has there been such a political outcry about this campaign donations in recent years?

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Notations for copyrights and patents can be found on every single product you buy at the store. In this article, you can find out what copyrights and patents are, and how they differ from each other.

While compensation for the U.S. president is very generous, most people who run for the job don't do it to get rich. So how much does the position pay?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

How does the Social Security system (in the U.S.) work? When I pay money into the system, where does my money go and where is my account kept (does some bank have the money in my account)?

The mint began producing state quarters in 1999. Learn about the schedule of state quarter minting.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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Counterfeit detector pens use special chemicals to spot a fake bill. How do they do it?

By Tracy V. Wilson

How much would all the money in the world weigh and how much would it be worth? Find out what "all the money in the world" really means.

Ever wondered why the stock exchange is valued at 15 trillion dollars, while the amount of money in the U.S. is only 6 trillion? Learn why the stock exchange can be valued higher than a nation's total financial value.

Why doesn't washing paper money cause it to disintegrate? Learn how paper bills are made to withstand excessive use (or misuse!).

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Philanthropy has a whole new meaning in modern times. There are huge organizations dedicated to charity; there are gifts that are tax-deductible; there's a lot of fraud. Learn all about philanthropy.

E-commerce has exploded in the last 10 years. Find out how e-commerce works and how you can harness the potential of e-commerce, from affiliate programs to CPC links.

By Marshall Brain