Welcome to the SwiftEconomics.com Glossary! Each word will come to life using witty jokes, satire, and colorful examples. The glossary is meant to amuse and educate; not to be traditional or academic. The SwiftEconomics.com team wants to hammer home a few vital ideas throughout the vocabulary lesson. For example, keep an eye on asymmetric information’s effect on health insurance. Please share the SwiftEconomics.com Glossary with colleagues, friends, and family!

Browse by first letter

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


The dream of any entrepreneur is opening that first offshore account. The term refers to accounts, operations, or transactions not subject to the laws and regulations of a business’ home country.


The total domination of a marketplace by a few firms. Oligopoly firms could choose to collude and control pricing or use the coalition to drive a competitor out of the market. Oligopolies carry a big club.


Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, an oil cartel looking to maximize profit in a given economic environment by siphoning or spouting oil supply. Made up of twelve countries, OPEC produces roughly two-thirds of the world’s oil. Members are cast out that fail to restrict supply as fixed by the cartel. OPEC headquarters are in Vienna where Austrian economists roll over in their graves.

Open Economy

It’s an open-door policy here, well, open borders. In an open economy all capital, goods and services, and people are free to roam over the border and back again. What could go wrong there?

Opportunity Cost

The cost of the most valuable alternative given up. Indecisive people tussle with opportunity cost…or they just can’t come up with any ideas to begin with. Value is drawn from happiness, which economists call utility. Money can play a role in increasing an outcome’s happiness but not necessarily. If a person sleeps in he or she relinquishes the opportunity to see the sun rise. The sun rise is the opportunity cost of sleeping in, the most valuable alternative given up at 5:45 in the morning.

Each person has a different utility function or set of personal characteristics that drive their happiness.

Virtually anything a person does has the opportunity cost of earning a salary or wage. A person could work a graveyard shift at a gym instead of sleep. A person could work fulltime instead of training in dentistry school.

The full cost of any decision is not only the time or money outlay but the happiness given up from the best alternative foregone. From an economic perspective, nothing’s free in this world.


Getting the most out of scarce resources.


Total production by an economic agent or whole economy. A tally of what an economy produces in a given time period.


A union’s nightmare; when one entity pays another to do an economic activity for them. American jobs are shipped abroad as well as a business’ Information Technology shipped to a shop across the street. Outsourcing occurs because of specialization of labour, cheaper labour costs, and lax regulation.

Over the Counter

Legal drugs accessible without a prescription, unless you’re an athlete and it’s a banned substance. Mexican drug cartels operate under the counter. If an investor utilizes a broker to purchase securities it is also considered “over the counter.”


Market exuberance usually highlighted by speculators looking to make some quick cash. Some economists believe Central Bank’s setting long run interest rates below what the market would set causes overheating, asset bubbles, and often contagion in the intertwined global economy web. The result is an economy’s demand placed on a trajectory its capacity cannot meet.

Jump to top ››

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 × one =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Enter your email address to get the eBook for free!
Click the image to Purchase Economic Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics only 99 cents!
Click the image to download Stabilizing Hyperinflation: Comparing the German and Hungarian Response

Get the eBook