The American financial system is governed by federal agencies designed to keep the economy moving and encourage the prosperity of United States citizens. Even with these safeguards in place, economic downturns occur. In mid-2008, the housing market in the United States collapsed because of risky lending practices. Late 2008 saw the arrival of a recession that resulted in an over 10% unemployment rate, massive job losses, a manufacturing slow-down and poor retail sales. By becoming knowledgeable about the federal banking system, the stock market, regulatory organizations and laws, and by staying informed about the day-to-day changes in the economic environment, consumers can arm themselves to weather financial crises and plan for the future.
- New York Society of Security Analysts: Incorporated in 1940, the NYSSA is an educational and professional organization committed to the promotion of the highest professional and ethical practices in the investment industry.
- The American Finance Association: Publishers of the Journal of Finance, the AFA is an academic association devoted to the promotion of knowledge and study of financial economics.
- Government Finance Officers Association: The GFOA promotes and enhances sound financial government policies through training and education.
- International Association of Financial Crime Investigators: The IAFCI provides services and information to the public about financial fraud, investigation and prevention.
- Security Industry and Financial Markets Association: SIFMA represents the global financial market industry on legislative and educational issues.
- United States Treasury: The federal financial administrator of the United States. Promotes financial security and prosperity in the United States and throughout the world.
- The Nation's Central Bank: Explanation of the central bank, its purpose, and history.
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York: The New York district central bank.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: The central bank in Minneapolis.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: The Atlanta district central bank.
- U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Index: Alphabetical resource list of trading organizations around the country.
- USDA: The Agricultural Marketing Service division of the United States Department of Agriculture.
- New York Mercantile Exchange: Covers a wide range of futures and options products.
- National Futures Association: An industry-wide regulatory association for the futures industry.
- Commodity Exchanges: List of commodity exchanges and related web sites.
- Bloomberg: Worldwide exchange rates and up-to-date stock market information.
- MSN Money: Current exchange rates and market evaluations.
- Measuring Worth: Exchange rate calculator for the U.S. dollar and 41 other currencies.
- International Monetary Fund: Users may retrieve exchange rates from user input criteria.
- Foreign Exchange Rates: An exchange rate converter for 164 different currencies.
- The Federal Reserve System: The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States.
- The Federal Reserve System Online: Map of system districts, the 12 reserve banks and consumer information.
- Federal Reserve Consumer Help: Consumer banking education and assistance.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Commission protects investors and maintains equitable and efficient markets.
- U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission: The CFTC is responsible for overseeing the futures and options markets in the United States.
- Auto Insurance: What to look for when searching for an auto insurance policy.
- Health Insurance: Detailed descriptions, resources, and information about all aspects of health insurance.
- Medicare: Official web site for those with questions about Medicare.
- Questions and Answers about Health Insurance: A consumer guide from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Health Insurance Resources: Long list of resources covering all aspects of health insurance coverage.
- Consumer Financial Rights: List of financial laws and protections enforced by the federal government.
- Financial Fraud Institute: A Homeland Security department, the FFI investigates a wide range of financial fraud.
- Federal Securities Exchange Act: List of laws that regulate the securities exchange industry.
- Federal Securities Law: Statutes, regulatory history and law administration.
- Securities: An overview of laws governing the security exchange industry.
- Understanding Mutual Funds: An overview to mutual funds and how they work.
- Morningstar: Morningstar Mutual Funds offers an array of mutual fund reports in PDF format.
- Oppenheimer Funds: Mutual fund tracking tools and informational reports.
- Mutual Funds: What they are, different types, and fund performance information.
- Introduction to Mutual Funds: An online tutorial.
- NASDAQ: The National Association of Securities and Dealers Automated Quotation official web site.
- NYSE: The New York Stock Exchange.
- Understanding Common Investments: Explains the various types of stocks and common terminology.
- DOW: Up-to-date Dow Jones indices.
- S&P: Standard & Poor's official indices.
- Treasury Direct: Bonds, securities and stock information for consumers, financial institutions, and government entities.
- Bonds for Retirement: Different retirement options available.
- U.S. Savings Bonds: Why bonds are a good investment and how to buy them.
- Treasury Forms: Online form for requesting pamphlets and forms for bills, notes, and bonds.
- U.S. Treasury Securities: Monthly average interest rates on securities.
- Harvard Business Review: Harvard Business Publishing's journal covering business and reporting case studies.
- Wall Street Journal: Online edition of the WSJ, including business and financial news.
- Washington Business Journal: Washington D.C. business journal.
- Hartford Business Journal Online: Business and finance news online.
- Forbes Magazine: Business, stock market, and financial news.
- CNN Money: Current rates and financial news.
- National Bureau of Economic Research: Economic research and education about how the economy works.
- Nightly Business Report: Web site of the PBS program offers a variety of financial educational and informational resources.
- Consumer Action Web Site: Investing tips.
- Introduction to Stock Market Investment: An online course takes the student from the basics to more complex concepts.
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