Boom and Bust:
A recurrent cycle of growth, decline, recession, and recovery in the economic activity of a capitalist country. A bubble is a particularly unstable stage of this economic cycle, almost certainly followed by catastrophic collapse of the system.
First sentence from Encarta® World English Dictionary (North American Edition) © & (P) 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Bretton Woods Conference:
In 1944 the major world powers met at the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire in the United States to organize an international monetary system that would alleviate many of the foreign-exchange problems created by World War II. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the conference primarily to promote currency stabilization, thereby facilitating the growth of world trade. The participating nations (including the United States, Britain, France, Canada, the Soviet Union, and many smaller states) agreed to tie the values of major world currencies to the value of the U.S. dollar, which was determined by the amount of gold the dollar could buy. An agreement was also reached to set upper and lower limits within which exchange-rate fluctuations were permitted in response to market conditions.
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. © 1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Bundesbank:
Germany's central bank, before the establishment of the European Central Bank, was the prime guardian of the German economy. The word means "Federal Bank" in German. The Bundesbank still takes care of domestic German monetary policy and financial market regulation.
R.C. Epping, A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy, 3rd ed., New York, 2001.
Bureaucracy:
Personnel and administrative structure of an organization. Business, labor, religious, educational, and governmental systems depend on a large workforce arranged in a hierarchy to carry out specialized tasks based on internal rules and procedures. The term is used mostly in referring to government administration, especially regarding officials in the federal government and civil service. It is often used derogatorily to suggest waste, inefficiency, and red tape.
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. © 1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Business Cycle:
A term used in economics to designate changes in the economy. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the level of business activity in industrialized capitalist countries has veered from high to low, taking the economy with it. The timing of a cycle is not predictable, but its phases seem to be. Many economists cite four phases -- prosperity, liquidation, depression, and recovery -- using the terms originally developed by the American economist Wesley Mitchell, who devoted his career to studying business cycles.
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. © 1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.