The prices at which one country's currency can be changed into that of other country. Although perceptions in the currency markets of the privacy of a country's economic base certainly affect change rate movement, fluctuations are less a function of specific currency market manipulations than the outcome of an entire conglomerate of economic forces experienced on all over the world level, such as inflation rates, political unrest, interest rates, financial market aberrations, and commodity prices. Furthermore, currency rates respond violently to larger economic shocks: local wars, natural disasters, oil cartel maneuvers, and anticipated political and economic actions of the world powers. Within a worldwide economy such as the United States, change rates play a critical role in virtually every aspect of financial management. Organizations that import or export or that competes against industries that import or export should watch exchange rates closely and if mostly enter into futures currency contracts or trade in financial futures to maximize earnings potential.