What is the Securities and Exchange Commission?

The Securities and Exchange Commission, better known as SEC, is a US independent, federal government agency responsible for protecting investors and maintaining fair and orderly functioning of securities markets. Created in 1934 with the Securities Exchange Act, after the Great Depression started in 1929, as the first federal regulator of financial markets in the United States, … Continue reading What is the Securities and Exchange Commission?

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What is a hedge fund?

A hedge fund is an alternative investment vehicle that employs numerous different strategies in order to achieve a positive return, called "alpha", for its investors. These kind of funds are actively managed and they usually make use of derivatives and high leverage with the goal of enhancing profits from trades. Hedge funds are generally only accessible … Continue reading What is a hedge fund?

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing system promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. In brief, a Ponzi scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. In this, a Ponzi scheme is similar to a pyramid scheme, since both are based on using new investors' funds to pay the earlier ones. Companies that engage … Continue reading What is a Ponzi scheme?

Moral Hazard: a simple explanation

Kenneth Arrow in 1963 published an article about the uncertainty in economics, focusing in its consequences on the medical insurance. This article introduced for the first time in history the concept of moral hazard. A practical explanation of what moral hazard means can be found in the movie "Wall Street: money never sleep", directed by … Continue reading Moral Hazard: a simple explanation

What is the NASDAQ?

The NASDAQ is a global electronic financial market where securities are bought and sold. However, more often the term is associated with the NASDAQ Composite, a benchmark index which gathers more than 3000 stocks listed on the Exchange, including some of the world most famous technology and biotech firms, like Apple, Google or Amazon. This … Continue reading What is the NASDAQ?

What is a Lender of Last Resort?

A Lender of Last Resort (LLR) is an institution, usually a country's Central Bank (like the Federal Reserve in the United States), that offers loans to banks or other organizations that are having financial difficulties or that are near a collapse or a bankruptcy. Generally, LLRs borrow money to those companies or financial institutions whose … Continue reading What is a Lender of Last Resort?