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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Can I really trade my dollars in for gold bullion?

You can trade your dollars in for gold bullion from Fort Knox whenever you want -- right? Maybe not.

A friend of mine says she can tell counterfeit bills by the way they feel. Is this possible?

Do counterfeit bills really feel different from valid bills? Some people claim they can spot a fake just by handling it.

How IPOs Work

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.

How the Shoah Foundation Works

The Shoah Foundation has documented more than 50,000 Holocaust testimonies for the purpose of preventing future genocides. Learn all about this phenomenal undertaking and how it plans to turn survivors into educators.

How Counterfeiting Works

A Philadelphia man managed to put more than $800,000 worth of counterfeit $50 and $100 bills into circulation between 1998 and 2002. How can you spot a fake?

How Exchange Rates Work

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.

How the New $20 Bill Works

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.

How Currency Works

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?

How Pickpockets Work

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.

How the Fed Works

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.

How Recessions Work

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?

How the Euro Works

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."

How Long-Distance Scams Work

How many companies have tried to sell you "better" long-distance rates on your home phone? Do the offers sound too good to be true? Find out how to tell the scams from the real deals.

Why do some U.S. bills have a star instead of a letter at the end of the serial number?

Some dollar bill serial numbers have a star at the end of the serial number. What does it mean?

How Patents Work

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.

What is a trade secret, and how is it different from a patent or copyright?

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.

Why do you see 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on the copyright page of many books?

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 some national contests invalid in certain states and other countries?

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?

What is the difference between soft money and hard money campaign donations?

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?

What are copyrights and patents?

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.

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

I've heard a lot in the news lately about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. What is the reserve, and how does the United States use the reserve? How much oil is held there, and how can a lot of oil be stored?

How much does the U.S. president get paid?

While compensation for the U.S. president is very generous when compared with the average American's salary, these men likely didn't get elected to office with the goal of getting rich. So how much does he get paid?

How does the Social Security system work?

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)?

How Often Do State Quarters Come Out, and How Many Does the Mint Produce?

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

Why doesn't paper money disintegrate when it gets washed in the washing machine?

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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