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Import Certificate

A proposed system to lower the U.S. trade deficit. Under the system, exporters would be issued import certificates allowing them to import up to the total value they export. Exporters may then sell these certificates to importers, who need them to conduct their business. The concept would maximize the value of imports, allowing it to be no greater than the value of exports. While this is not technically a tariff, it has much the same effect. Import certificates were proposed by Warren Buffett in 2003.

Information Coefficient

A measure of the correlation between expected and actual returns. The IC is used internally within a firm to judge the performance of individual financial forecasters. The IC is measured on a scale between 0 to 1, with 1 indicating no difference between expected and actual returns. An analyst with a consistently high IC on his/her predictions will likely receive promotions and bonuses, while one with low information coefficients will likely lose his/her job.

Interest Cost (IC)

A comprehensive and time-adjusted measure of loan cost to the borrower.

IC on a Mortgage: IC is what economists call an “internal rate or return.” It takes account of all payments made by the borrower over the life of the loan relative to the cash received up front. On a mortgage, the cash received up front is the loan amount less all upfront fees paid by the borrower. On an ARM, IC captures the effect of interest rate changes on the monthly payment and the balance, but future rate changes must be assumed.

Formula: IC is (i) in the formula below:

L - F = P1 + P2/(1 + i)2 +… (Pn + Bn)/(1 + i)n

L = Loan amount

F = Points and all other upfront fees paid by the borrower P = Monthly payment

n = Month when the balance is prepaid in full

Bn = Balance in month n

IC Versus APR: IC differs from APR in the following ways: IC is measured over any time horizon, whereas APR assumes that all loans run to term. IC may be measured after taxes whereas APR is always measured before taxes. On an ARM, IC can be calculated on any interest rate scenario whereas APR always uses a no-change scenario.

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