Enron had already collapsed and filed for bankruptcy protection by the beginning of 2002. But despite complaints from short sellers that corporations had used accounting gimmickry to inflate their profits, many investors thought the crisis at Enron was an isolated case.
Microeconomics is the study of how specific choices made by businesses, consumers and governments affect the markets for different goods and services. For example, a microeconomist might examine how price changes affect sales of apples relative to oranges.
It's one of the fundamental principles of the stock market: When interest rates go up, stocks go down. And along with financial companies and cyclicals, technology companies - with their sky-high price-to-earnings multiples - should be among the biggest losers in an environment of rising rates.
Of course, the discounting of future earnings should hurt all stocks. But it should hurt technology stocks more than others, because so many of them are valued at extremely high levels relative to their current earnings.
After a generation of misrule under Mr. Hussein, who built a huge military infrastructure while neglecting civilian investment, and a dozen years of United Nations sanctions, Iraq's unemployment rate tops 50 percent.
The lower spreads mean lower costs for investors, because Nasdaq investors generally do not trade directly with one another. Instead, they usually buy and sell from market-makers, brokerage firms that flip shares between buyers and sellers and keep the spread for themselves.
Like many other banks and finance companies, Green Tree used a process called securitization to resell its home loans to outside investors. Green Tree grouped thousands of these small loans into a pool worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The details of the personal expenses that executives put on the company tab often are not known because loopholes in federal disclosure rules let publicly traded companies generally avoid disclosing the perks they give executives along with pay and stock options.
The Wahhabists are the boogeymen, the guys who will chop the head off any American they catch. And they will destroy Iraq without a second thought if they believe that the instability will benefit them.
Rising interest rates are considered bad for stocks because they raise the cost of doing business and depress corporate earnings and because higher yields make bonds relatively more attractive than stocks to investors.