Glossary Terms:

Who Is Janet Yellen?

Glossary terms from:


A financial institution that provides various products and services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, loans and currency exchange.


The industry involved with conducting financial transactions. Also, conducting business with a bank, e.g., maintaining a checking or savings account or obtaining a loan.

Board of Governors

The Federal Reserve's governing and monetary policy-making body; consists of seven governors appointed by the President to staggered 14-year terms.


Any activity or organization that produces or exchanges goods or services for a profit.


A result or effect of an action or decision; may be positive or negative.


The money in circulation in any country.

Decision Making

Reaching a conclusion after considering alternatives and their results.


A severe, prolonged economic contraction.


The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.

Federal Reserve

The central bank of the United States. Its main function is controlling the money supply through monetary policy. The Federal Reserve System divides the country into 12 districts, each with its own Federal Reserve bank. Each district bank is directed by its nine-person board of directors. The Board of Governors, which is made up of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to 14-year terms, directs the nation's monetary policy and the overall activities of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is the official policy-making body; it is made up of the members of the Board of Governors and five of the district bank presidents.


Accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.


Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.


The process of putting money someplace with the intention of making a financial gain. Investment possibilities include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other financial instruments or ventures.


A piece of work usually done on order at an agreed-upon rate. Also a paid position of regular employment.


One who lends; may be an individual or a business.


The study of economics concerned with the economy as a whole, involving aggregate demand, aggregate supply, and monetary and fiscal policy.

Monetary Policy

Changes in the supply of money and the availability of credit initiated by a nation's central bank to promote price stability, full employment and reasonable rates of economic growth.


Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.

Money Supply

Narrowly defined by economists as currency in the hands of the public plus checking-type deposits; also called M1. Other definitions of the money supply (M2, M3) include various savings deposits, money market deposits and money market mutual fund balances.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


An ownership share or shares of ownership in a corporation.

Stock Market

A market in which the public trades stock that someone already owns; the buying and selling of stock.


The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time. Normally, as the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity supplied of the good or service rises (or falls).


The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.

Unemployment Rate

The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.


Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.