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Money, Banking and Financial Markets Glossary

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Central bank | The financial institution that manages the government's finances, controls the availability of money and credit in the economy, and serves as the bank to commercial banks. | | | | European Central Bank (ECB) | The central authority, located in Frankfurt, Germany, which oversees monetary policy in the common currency area. | | | | Federal Reserve System | The central bank responsible for monetary policy in the United States. | | | | Financial institutions | Firms, such as banks and insurance companies, that provide access to the financial markets, both to savers who wish to purchase financial instruments directly and to borrowers who want to issue them; also known as financial intermediaries. | | | | Financial instrument | The written legal obligation of one party to transfer something of value (usually money) to another party at some future date, under certain conditions. | | | | Financial market | The part of the financial system that allows people to buy and sell financial instruments quickly and cheaply. | | | | Financial system | The system that allows people to engage in economic transactions. It is composed of five parts: money, financial instruments, financial markets, financial institutions, and central banks. | | | | Information | A collection of facts. The basis for the third core principle of money and banking: Information is the basis for decisions. | | | | Markets | A virtual or physical place where goods, services, and financial instruments are purchased and sold. The basis for the fourth core principle of money and banking: Markets set prices and allocate resources. | | | | Money | An asset that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services or repayment

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