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Meaning / Definition of

Circuit Breaker

Categories: Investing and Trading,

After the stock market crash of 1987, stock and commodities exchanges established a system of trigger-point rules known as circuit breakers. They temporarily restrict trading in stocks, stock options, and stock index futures when prices fall too far, too fast.Currently, trading on the new york stock exchange (NYSE) is halted when the dow jones industrial average (DJIA) drops 10% any time before 2:30 p.m., sooner if the drop is 20%. But trading could resume, depending on the time of day the loss occurs. However, if the DJIA drops 30% at any point in the day, trading ends for the day. The actual number of points the DJIA would need to drop to hit the trigger is set four times a year, at the end of each quarter, based on the average value of the DJIA in the previous month.The only time the circuit breakers have been triggered was on October 27, 1997, when the DJIA fell 554 points, or 7.2%, and the shut-down level was lower. In fact, the DJIA has dropped as much as 10% in a single day only three times in its history.

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Definition / Meaning of

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Categories: Credit and Debt, Banking,

GLB Act or GLBA. Legislation that, on one hand, allows great freedom to financial institutions in offering a full range of services and, on the other hand, imposes strict controls on how institutions share or disclose personal financial information. Signed into law in 1999 by President Clinton, GLBA repeals the key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the bank holding company Act of 1956 that barred banks from securities trading and insurance business. In its corporate aspect, the act introduces two new organization types - the financial holding company and the financial subsidiary. Under these provisions, banks, insurance companies, securities trading companies, and other types of financial institutions can together exist as one consolidated corporate entity. In its consumer aspect, the GLBA authorizes the states and eight federal agencies to monitor all collectors and holders of personal financial information, and to enforce the financial privacy rule, safeguards rule, and 'pretexting' (obtaining personal information under false pretext) rule. These rules apply also to any entity that offers any type of financial product or service, including brokers, debt collectors, credit counselors, financial advisors, small lenders, and tax-return preparers. The GLBA gives consumers some control over how their financial information is used and disclosed (beyond the purpose for it was collected) via the opt-out provision that lets them choose the option of not divulging this information.

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