Friday, December 26, 2008

due diligence - noun

The oversight appropriate to a money-making opportunity, i.e. cost-cutting and maximally efficient. Whatever supervision is sufficient to allay investors without expending further time and money.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

troubled – adjective

Worthless, nugatory; bogus.

(See also distressed, toxic, illiquid.)

COMMENT: "Troubled asset" is, strictly speaking, a contradiction in terms.

Friday, December 19, 2008

bridge loan – noun

Short-term financing that takes a company from one insolvent shore, safely spans the turbid waters of liquidation, and delivers it to the opposite insolvent shore.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

pension fund – noun

An investment pool set aside by an employer to serve as collateral for a leveraged buyout.

securitize – verb

1. To purchase, facelift, and flip a set of mortgages or loans.

2. To pass the buck, to dodge, to cop out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

deposit – noun

Money placed at a bank as collateral for highly leveraged investments.

COMMENT: Deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. This is perhaps why Americans have an exceedingly low savings rate.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

bankruptcy – noun

1. (individual) A state of moral degeneracy, in which a person willfully and without conscience incurs debt he cannot repay.

2. (corporate) A brief period of financial restructuring; a fiscal hiccup.

executive compensation – noun

Payment to an executive for loss or suffering incurred from interaction with middle management, staff, and other rabble.

Monday, December 15, 2008

rating agency – noun

An advertising firm that specializes in the sale of bonds.

Issuers thus were forced to seek credit ratings (or else their bonds would not be marketable). The agencies—realizing they had a hot product and, what's more, a captive market—started charging the very organizations whose bonds they were rating. — Roger Lowenstein

incentivize – verb

(Also: "incent")

To entice someone to do something he would normally abhor, such as acting for the good of the public or of the company for which he works.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

core values – noun

The values one holds with the greatest irony.

complex – adjective (reprise)

Sufficiently obscure to couch financial risk.