Financial & Economic Slang Terms for the 21st century
The 21st century has given birth to some very interesting terms used in the financial and economic media and blogosphere. Although you won’t see many of these terms in standard dictionaries, they are gaining in popularity and becoming more widely used. Perhaps they are being used more and more as readers around the world become better informed about what is really happening in our increasing complex and corrupt world.
Here are 13 terms you may come across along with my own definitions and some examples:
Crony Capitalism (compound noun)
– A capitalist or market economy in which close relationships between businesses or strong interest groups and the government lead to favoritism and corruption.
Favoritism includes things such as the granting of permits or licenses, government grants, and special tax breaks. Such favoritism tends to be rewarded by political campaign contributions, special favors, or outright kickbacks (bribes).
In this context, the capitalistic system becomes one that is inefficient and corrupt rather than one that is based on free markets with strict observance of the rule of law.
1. Decades of lobbying by strong interest groups to lawmakers has lead to crony capitalism in the United States.
2. I can’t stand David Cameron; he’s such a crony!
QE (Quantitative Easing) (compound noun)
Although standard definitions will tell you that it is a ‘monetary policy’ used by central banks to stimulate the national economy, in reality it is more as follows:
– A cleverly disguised word that simply means ‘money printing’.
Central banks use QE as a disguise for increasing the money supply, as to monetize its increasing debt.
For a more technical analysis of the actual mechanics of QE, I invite you to read the article entitled QE for Dummies.
1. The Central Bank embarked on another round of QE in hopes that it can kick-start the economy.
2. Ben Bernanke is set to begin the Fed’s taper of QE as soon as next month.
– A situation in which very low interest rates and easy credit leads to overinvestment or misallocation of capital.
Once interest rates and credit markets revert back to more normal and sustainable levels, the investment will unavoidably drop significantly in value.
1. Malinvestment is a symptom and a driver of economic bubbles.
2. The losses resulting from the malinvestments of the past cycle have been shifted to an important degree onto the balance sheets of governments and their central banks.
3. In order to return to a functioning economy, those resources which have been malinvested need to be liquidated and shifted into sectors in which they can be put to productive use.
A word derived from combining “banker” and “gangster”.
– A private bank that engages in illegal, deceitful, or unethical practices for profit at the expense of their customers or associates.
1. The banksters at Goldman Sachs promoted and sold shady mortgage back securities to their clients which resulted in huge losses.
2. I really hate banksters because they only care about making profits for their shareholders and receiving those huge bonuses.
3. Our banksters are gambling with depositors’ money by buying very risky derivatives.
A word derived from combining “sheep” and “people”.
– A group of people with poor cognitive abilities who are unable think for themselves, are easily influenced by the mainstream media, and will allow their attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and actions to be shaped and dictated by groupthink and the powers that be; they are ignorant followers that herd together and mindlessly go with the flow.
1. The sheeple believe everything they hear on CNN and the BBC.
2. The sheeple supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq since he said they had weapons of mass destruction and were a threat to America.
3. The sheeple actually believe that QE is in place to revive the economy rather than to funnel cash to the big banks.
A word derived from combining “press” and “prostitute”.
– Writers, journalists, and editors from the mainstream media who give biased and predetermined views that support the corrupt governments, corporations, and organizations which they serve instead of reporting the news in an impartial, unbiased, and fact-based manner.
The term inherently also refers to how such media or journalists have sold their souls to the devil so to speak, how they are void of ethical decency, and thus not fit for the profession.
1. Influenced by rhetoric from the U.S. State Department, the presstitute media such as CNN and the BBC have aided in the demonization of Russia in light of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
2. The bought-and-paid-for presstitute media will never publish any information showing that 9/11 was in fact an inside job.
puppet / puppet government (noun)
– A person, organization, or government that is highly influenced by and acts on behalf of another party. The puppet will often do as the other party says without too much resistance and may be seen as afraid to think or act independently, sometimes in fear of possible punishment by the puppet master.
1. Northern Cyprus is run as a puppet state of Turkey.
2. A puppet government has been installed in many countries by the CIA.
3. The US government orchestrated the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine and imposed a US puppet in Kiev.
fudge (verb), fudged (adjective)
– To falsify or stretch the truth. The manipulation or misrepresentation of data or information with the deceitful intent on making it look different than it actually is.
1. The Department of Labor has once again fudged their unemployment figures to make it look like the economy is improving.
2. Don’t worry, I can fudge the numbers to make it look like our firm has made a profit.
– Extremely wealthy people with tremendous influence and power who benefit from fiscal or monetary policies and their personal investments. It can also refer to people who come from a wealthy family background and who live a life of luxury filled with riches and good times.
1. The Fed’s money printing program will mostly benefit the elite who are heavily invested in the stock market.
2. The elite are really the ones pulling the strings in government.
3. The Rothschilds are the elite of the elite.
bail-out (noun, verb)
– A person or financial institution providing money to a party that made a bad investment in order to cover their losses.
1. The Fed bailed-out out the big banks during the financial crisis.
2. The British Government issued a 500 billion pound bail-out package as a response to the ongoing financial crisis.
3. It is the taxpayers who will ultimately have to pay for the latest bank bail-outs.
bail-in (noun, verb)
– The situation in which a bank steals a depositor’s money from their account. Depending on the jurisdiction, it can permitted in accordance with banking or governmental legislation.
1. Bank depositors in Cyprus got a rude awakening when they saw that their bank accounts had been bailed-in.
2. The Canadian Parliament has now passed legislation which will allow future bank bail-ins.
3. The IMF has proposed a one-off tax for European bank depositors who have accounts with funds in excess of 100,000 euros.
4. In order to fund their latest deficit, the nation is considering implementing a $30 billion bail-in package.
false-flag / false-flag operation (compound noun)
– An act, operation, or event, often conducted by military or paramilitary units, that is designed and carried out to appear as though it was done by a party other than the one who actually planned and executed it.
1. Declassified U.S. Government documents show that in the 1960s, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan code-named Operation Northwoods to blow up American airplanes, and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. The operation was not carried out only because the Kennedy administration refused to implement these Pentagon plans.
2. Many think that the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was a false-flag operation conceived by the United States government and carried out by the Ukrainian military in order to demonize Russia.
Plunge Protection Team (PPT)
A term originally coined in The Washington Post on February 23, 1997 that has been used to informally refer to The Working Group on Financial Markets that was established under the Reagan Administration in 1988; the group consists of The Secretary of the Treasury, The Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and The Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
– A team managed by The Working Group whose role is to ensure that U.S. Stock Markets do not plunge to frightening levels. They will directly intervene in the markets, usually by placing large buy orders.
1. To prevent a further drop in the S&P 500, the PPT intervened with large purchases of ETF shares.
2. The Plunge Protection Team always seems to prop up the markets near the end of the trading on Friday afternoons.
3. The Chinese have also put in place their own Plunge Protection Team in order to stabilize equity prices.