192 definitions by abu yahya

(CINEMA || TELEVISION) technique in which an actor reads lines, but is not shown speaking the lines in the video stream. So, for example, we might see Martin Sheen lying in bed in a decrepit hotel in Saigon, and hear his voice say, "Saigon... shit! I was still in Saigon!" But he's narrating in the past tense, and the Martin Sheen onscreen is not saying anything. Or we might see Robert Duvall sitting on the beach, and Martin Sheen's disembodied voice, calmly recalling, "Well, he loved his men... Felt safe with them.."

It serves to fill in events in the story that the director doesn't want to depict on screen; it helps to describe how a character feels about events shown in the scene, or remind viewers that they are currently watching a flashback; it also has been used successfully to explain away absurd holes in the plot that would otherwise ruin the movie.

The voice over (VO) is particularly popular in US cinema and somewhat less so in British and Japanese; non-US movies that are conscious imitating Hollywood cliches will usually use it as well.

Usually, artistic movies made outside the English-speaking world tend to avoid using the VO because it's a non-traditional narrative technique, and it looks lazy. A good screenwriter doesn't need to use it. However, in commercials and TV "journalism" it is almost supernaturally powerful in persuading people of utter nonsense; it's basically a form of posthypnotic suggestion.
The propaganda effect of commercials is massively enhanced by the use of voice over narration; usually the VO script is a grammatical mess and crammed with logical errors. This actually makes it work as a tool of brainwashing, since the logic cannot be followed by the listener.
by Abu Yahya July 15, 2010
(ECONOMICS) method of transferring wealth from a buyer to a seller, usually over long distances and under different currency systems. Requires the buyer to have an account with a banker in the other city; the buyer sends a note ordering his banker to credit the seller's account by the amount being paid.

Bills of exchange were adopted in 13th century Italy; almost as soon as they became common, traders began to use them as a speculative instrument (discounting bad ones and reselling them) or else as a sleazy method of borrowing money (by "drawing and redrawing," i.e., where two merchants in different towns agree to exchange bills of exchange with each other). "Drawing and redrawing" is analogous to the method used by college students on the 1980's of writing checks to each other every couple of days and depositing them in ATM's so their checking accounts wouldn't bounce.
A bill of exchange is a type of "negotiable instrument" (contractual form of money).

A modern form of bill would be a check.
by Abu Yahya September 07, 2010
(FINANCE) an amount of precious metals, silver, cash, or other thing of value that a bank keeps in storage to meet unexpected liabilities.

Banks generally accept deposits and lend out money. The deference between the rate of interest paid out to deposits, and the rate of interest required for loans, is called "the spread"; it is the bank's source of income.

Banks are not allowed to lend out 100% of the money they receive as deposits; if they did, then depositors would be unable to take money out of the bank. On the other hand, the bank has to lend most of the money out, since it needs the income earned from interest on loans. Throughout the history of the Usonian banking system, the US states or the federal government have had rules about interest rates, reserves, and financial accounting used by banks.

Since Aldrich-Vreeland Act (1908), banks have been allowed to hold deposits with the US Treasury, then (after 1913) with the Federal Reserve System. Deposits in the FRS do not earn interest, but the reserve banks permit member banks to borrow if they fall short of the reserve requirements (see federal funds rate)
Bank reserves serve two purposes: they allow banks to pay depositors on demand, and they play a role in monetary policy.
by Abu Yahya September 04, 2010
(ECONOMICS) Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate). Does not include discouraged workers. Also referred to as "headline unemployment" because it is the statistic reported in the news.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes six estimates of unemployment. The others are U-1, U-3, U-4, U-5, and U-6. Eurostat publishes one monthly estimate of unemployment for the European Union, which is approximately midway between U-3 and U-4.

The unemployment statistics for the USA are collected through a monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) (also known as the household survey) and an establishment survey.
U-3 is the official unemployment rate in the USA; it excludes passive jobseekers (people who are just looking for available job openings without applying). Passive jobseekers are counted as part of the labor force in Europe, but not in the USA. Prior to the 2008 economic crisis, this caused unemployment rates in the USA to be about 1% lower than they would have been if the BLS had used European methods of estimating.
by Abu Yahya July 16, 2010
(US LAW) a legal ruling that consists of a decision in which the two parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) consent to some action by the defendant in exchange for a suspended sentence. For example, a husband who is a defendant in a domestic violence case may agree to psychiatric counseling in exchange for not going to prison for assaulting his wife.

The agreement has to be reached beforehand by the parties and then the court may (or may not) approve of the agreement. When it does, that's a consent decree.
WASHINGTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced a court-approved consent decree which resolves a lawsuit against the state of New York and its public university systems for their failure to provide voter registration services at offices serving students with disabilities at each public university and college campus in New York State.


Under the consent decree, by the start of the 2010-2011 school year, disability services offices at each public university and college campus in the state will provide voter registration services to students with disabilities.
by Abu Yahya July 15, 2010
(ECONOMICS) the administrative committee of the Federal Reserve System that actually administers monetary policy. There are 12 members of the FOMC.

The 12 members include all seven governors of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB).

In addition, representatives of each Federal Reserve Bank are eligible to serve on the FOMC. The FOMC implements sales/purchases of treasury securities (open market operations) in order to create credit at member banks. This is the process by which banks with FRS membership can create money. The difficulty of open market operations lies in ensuring that rates for short term securities remain lower than those for long term securities. Otherwise, monetary tightening cannot succeed in curbing inflation.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2nd FRB) is by far the most important of the 12 district banks. Historically, its president has often gone on to become either chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, or else Secretary of the Treasury (as, for example, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner). Nearly all bank holding companies have subsidiaries in the 2nd District, and the 2nd District is uniquely guaranteed a seat on the FOMC. The other 11 rotate, with 4 taking a turn of the FOMC at any given time.
The Federal Open Market Committee conducts transactions in treasury securities at the Open Market Window.
by Abu Yahya May 05, 2010
(US GOVERNMENT) one of two governing boards of the US Federal Reserve System (the Usonian Central Bank). The FRB consists of seven governors appointed by the White House to staggered terms of 14 years.

Governor appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

The FRB sets monetary policy. Its seven members also serve on the other governing board of the Fed, the FOMC. However, the FRB has sole responsibility for discount rates and reserve requirements, and it is also responsible for enforcement of banking regulation.
Despite the fact that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board has the same power as the other six governors, most people have only heard of Alan Greenspan (1987-2006) or Ben Bernanke (2006-present). About the same time, Susan M. Phillips (1991-1998) held approximately equal power on the Board; so did Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. (1997-2006).

Because governors almost never serve their full terms, there are currently only five governors on the board. The two longest-serving members, Bernanke and Vice Chair Donald Kohn, have only been there since August 2002.
by Abu Yahya June 16, 2010

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