Business and Money > Economics
19 Aug 2006 11:18 PDT
21 Aug 2006 18:29 PDT
I am a biochemist by trade and I have never studied economics. Lately
some economic-type questions have been bugging me and I thought it
would be a good opportunity to try this Google feature. So here goes:
a) I was watching a game show called Distraction and one segment is
where contestants have to burn 1000 pounds for each question they get
wrong. I know this is probably a drop in the bucket, but how does a
country account for money that has been destroyed or lost? For
example when I go travelling, I love keeping some money from that
country... and I know this is a common thing for tourists. In any way
does lost/destroyed currency affect a country's inflation rate?
b) How is a country's inflation rate calculated? I am curious about
the formula and how a country monitors and determines the parameters
of this formula.
c) Maybe it is part of the inflation calculation, but how does the
interest rate of the federal bank affect inflation? How does it
affect economic growth? For example, I hear in the news that economic
growth is at high rate so to slow economy and curb inflation the
federal bank raises interest rates. How are these related? What are
the pros/cons to raising interest rates? Does this have impact on my
d) While I am on the subject.... how is a country's economic growth
calculated? I am confused about how ~10 years ago asian economies
where growing out of control and they all crashed affecting commerce
around the world. Why did it crash if it was growing so fast?? What
caused this crash??
e) How do they calculate the worth of a country's currency?
f) You know how in the news they always talk about the NASDAQ or the
Dow Jones being up or down. I have really no idea what the NASDAQ is
other than it is a stock exchange. What does it mean if it is up or
down. How is this related to a country's economy? What do these
numbers indicate? Why should someone care if the NASDAQ went up or
I understand that there are a lot of questions here. Last one: maybe
you could suggest a good book for me to read? I want something with
lots of world examples and applications of the material if that makes
sense. I haven't looked too hard but some of the books I have come
across are so dry. The rub is that I don't want something too simple
and basic either because the goal is to be able to intelligently
discuss this kind of material.
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