A few recessionary, depressionary, econolyptic terms

Joining in the fun, here’s my list of financial terms related to the economic crisis to go along with those made by Ben Zimmer and Mark Peters. You can also find a lot more in my word-of-the-year nominations for 2007 and 2008.

What We’re Talking About Is Money

bad bank: A government-run bank that intentionally takes on the bad debts and deals of another bank that is in financial jeopardy.

Chimerica: The symbiotic Chinese-American financial relationship, in which there is a great trade imbalance as Americans save little and buy lots, and there is a great investment in American Treasury bills and the dollar by the Chinese.

depressionary: Related to a depression or a recession that looks like it could become a depression.

diworsification: Diversifying one’s investments too much.

dry powder: Capital readily available for investment.

econolypse: The current economic crisis.

financial incest: Telling one’s children about family financial affairs in such a way or to such a degree that they learn too much and become overly concerned.

HENRY: A person who is a High Earner But Not Rich Yet.

kitchen sink-it: To report the worst financial performance possible, as in the case of AIG.

lifecycle fund: An investment arrangement in which money is invested in safer securities and investments as a person grows older.

malus: A penalty for poor performance, the opposite of a bonus.

narrow bank: A bank that handles only basic banking and does not get involved in complex investment programs.

nuclear winter: A period in which investment capital is very hard to come by.

Obamanomics: The economic policies of Barack Obama and his administration. Carries on the tradition of presidential -nomics, like Nixonomics and Clintonomics.

peanut butter approach: Spreading tax breaks or government stimulus money thinly across a lot of beneficiaries instead of targeting those areas in need of the most help.

silent second: Someone who loans money to someone else in order to buy a home, usually to make them look like a good risk, without notifying the mortgage lender.

spendulus: The Obama administration’s economic stimulus package.

stimovation: Innovation plus economic stimulus, two ways that together could improve the economy.

whisper number: A rumor about a company’s financial performance, plans, deals, etc.

Posted March 26, 2009

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