Tuesday, January 27, 2009

inauguration – noun

[Origin: Latin inaugurare "to consecrate by augury."]

A formal ceremony in which an official is installed into his post after the careful observation of the flight and caws of pundits.

Monday, January 26, 2009

bad bank – noun

1. A bank that accurately accounts for the worth of its assets.

2. A warehouse for toxic sludge and other noxious products of value creators.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

downsizing – noun

A growth industry with exceedingly low labor costs, thanks to its unique ability to create and educate its own pool of experienced, desperate job applicants, through the very service it provides.

From Valleywag.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

feeder fund – noun

A private investment fund that, for a 1.5% fee, exercises the due diligence of passing its money pool to other funds whose managers seem to know something about finance.

finance – noun

Alchemy; hermetics. A magical power, practice, or process whereby mundane things are transformed into objects of great value.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

globalization – noun (reprise)

The interconnectedness of the world's economies and their susceptibility to American-style financial fraud.

When America sneezes, the world catches a cold.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

market – noun

A place where marks and their money are soon parted.

The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to acquire. — Milton Friedman, slightly modified.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

quant – noun

(Abbr. "quantitative analyst")

A mathematical expert who formulates complex models for the securities trade that predict gains with near certainty, assuming the soundness of the variables inputted by Ivy League arts-and-sciences majors.

COMMENT: "Quant" also means "a punting pole with a broad flange near the end to prevent it from sinking into the mud." In the financial industry, the rise of quants similarly prevented investor speculation from sinking into the mathematical sludge generated by risk aversion and due diligence. Thus, the origin of the term.

Investment banking isn’t this advanced math, these advanced quantitative techniques. There’s Excel for that. Investment banking is really just critical thinking. They way I put it, if you’re good at Sudoku, you’ll be a good investment banker.

Monday, January 12, 2009

risk management – noun

The art or practice of formulating complex exculpatory explanations for enormous losses incurred from daft speculation.

(See also: "crisis management.")

asset – noun

A valuable possession or trait that thereby marks its owner as worthy of other-regarding concern.