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CNBC Explains

About CNBC Explains

  • Welcome to CNBC Explains, where we dissect the complicated economics of our world — everything from stocks and corporate balance sheets, to international trade and government policy.

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Latest Special Reports

  • Financial advisors stress that now is the time for investors to get serious about year-end financial planning checkup.

  • Is an active twist on passive investing the right portfolio move? An inside look at the rise of ETF strategists.

  • The nexus of technology -- cloud, social, mobile and data -- are transforming user behaviors and creating new businesses.

Central Banking Explained

  • People gather near a currency exchange office in Moscow, December 17, 2014.

    The Russia crisis this week has thrust the talk of "capital controls" back into the global financial conversation.

  • United States Federal Reserve

    The beige book is an important indicator on the state of the U.S. economy and a critical tool for the Federal Reserve. CNBC explains.

  • The debt ceiling is a cap set by Congress on how much the federal government can borrow to pay its debts.

Corporate Accounting Explained

Crime and Law Explained

Currencies Explained

Economy Explained

  • Economic data can be like the porridge of a certain fairy tale: Too hot, too cold, or just right.

  • Sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit.

  • Americans often check their receipts to make sure they've bought everything they need, and probably to see if what they paid this time is any different from the last trip. The government does the same with the Consumer Price Index. Here are the details. 

Equities Explained

  • In conventional terms, front running is something that happens within a firm. That definition has changed recently.

  • Alpha and beta are important tools for many investors when it comes to figuring out investment returns. So what are they exactly and how do they work? CNBC explains.

  • An initial public offering—or IPO as it's most commonly called—is the way for companies to go from private to public and sell stock shares in their firm. Here's a look at how the IPO process unfolds as CNBC explains.

Funds & Investments Explained

  • What is asset allocation? Is there a mix of securities that can perfect portfolio diversification? CNBC explains.

  • About $1.7 trillion is invested in variable annuities, yet most investors don't know how to value their holdings.

  • Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker

    Paul Volcker was Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Reagan and Carter. But his name is becoming more well-known for a part of the Dodd–Frank  reform bill. It's called the Volcker rule, and CNBC explains.

Global Economy Explained

  • People walk past a poster that reads "Yesterday, Braden or Peron - Today: Griesa or Cristina," in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 29, 2014.

    Argentina is almost certainly headed for a technical default of its bond-payment obligations at 12:01 Thursday morning.

  • As Pope Francis assumes leadership of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, he's got his work cut out for him on many fronts.

  • There are all kinds of debt—as small as personal debt or as large as national debt. There's another type of debt as important as the rest—called Sovereign Debt. CNBC Explains.

Markets Explained

Personal Finance Explained

Taxes Explained

Technology Explained

Real Estate Explained

CNBC Explains