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HowStuffWorks Economy 101 & Financial Crisis Guide   Tags: banking, budgeting, businesses, checking_account, checks, credit, credit_cards, economics, economy, howstuffworks, investing, money, saving, social_studies, stocks  

Learn more about how the world of money works and economic fundamentals. Find answers to your questions about recessions, what an economy is, how money is made, budgeting and saving, credit, types of businesses and more.
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2008 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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The Basics

  • Daily U.S. Consumption for 12 Items
    America buys goods at a high rate, so it's no wonder the U.S. is considered 'the land of plenty.' Read about the daily U.S. consumption for 12 items, including denim jeans and movie tickets.
  • How Fair Trading Works
    It's pretty trendy to buy and eat organic and sustainable foods, and chances are the swanky coffee shop you frequent proffers some fair trade beans. But what does the label "fair trade" mean?
  • How Bartering Works
    Imagine a world without cash or credit cards. You'd barter to get what you need and want. Today, people and businesses are still trading goods and services. But can these cash-free transactions be taxed?


  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 much money is "all the money in the world"?
    Just how much is "all the money in the world"? Find out how this amazing number is calculated.
  • What is inflation?
    Inflations seems to be in the news on a regular basis. Have you ever wondered what inflation is and how inflation affects the value of our money? Find out in this article.
  • How Money is Made (Video)
    We all know money doesn't grow on trees, but have you ever wondered where it comes from? Learn more about money in this video from HowStuffWorks.
  • How Capitalism Works
    The essence of capitalism is economic freedom and the belief that widespread personal wealth will lead to societal well-being. But does anyone even practice true capitalism these days?

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Kristiana Burk
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