Financial Lexicon 101: Summary Of Key Terms

Tyler Durden's picture

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SilverIsKing's picture


They forgot one...


Ass Ream

What the Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank, with permission from the U.S. government, do to the U.S. taxpayer.


KAckermann's picture

Ponzi - A great financial innovator admired and emulated by all on Wall Street.

anonnn's picture

In the nature of missing data on Ponzi, the author Charles Dickens" 1850s book "Little Dorrit" described what later became known as a Ponzi.

Further, in same novel he described the underlying fraud of present day Credit Default Swaps:

"As to being a reference,' said Pancks, 'you know, in a general way, what being a reference means. It's all your eye, that is! Look at your tenants down the Yard here. They'd all be references for one another, if you'd let 'em. What would be the good of letting 'em? It's no satisfaction to be done by two men instead of one. One's enough. A person who can't pay, gets another person who can't pay, to guarantee that he can pay. ..."

anonnn's picture

Credit Default Swap- A person who can't pay, gets another person who can't pay, to guarantee that he can pay. ..."[Chas. Dickens]

Howard_Beale's picture

You left out the historic Mobiles that traded in the 1980's.

MHS--a group of mortgages on mobile homes located near creeks that tend to flood, tornados seek like a heat missile, with aluminum wiring set to vaporize the house before you can dial 911, and generally yield north of the moon.

junkyard dog's picture

Howard, it took me 5 minutes to stop laughing. I cried twice; funny as hell.

Hulk's picture

LOL Howard, God obviously doesn't like mobile homes and their shirtless  inhabitants!

spekulatn's picture

Greatly done, TD.

tecno242's picture

Just curious...

Why is the term "Depression" underlined and in different type. It is different from all other key terms.

Did you do that Tyler or did you copy and past directly from the doc?

girl money's picture


Investor we'd like to f***






School teacher...


jm's picture

EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.

CTD - Cheapest to Deliver: The least expensive underlying product that can be delivered upon expiry to satisfy the requirements of a derivative contract.


The Stasi kept a file on every person's activity and degree of compliance/resistance to the regime.  Free societies have dispensed with the paperwork by condensing this information into a convenient logistic score called FICO

Selah's picture

I was taught that EBITDA is: Earnings Before I Tricked Dumb Accountants...

jm's picture

I stand corrected.  ;-)

hedgeless_horseman's picture

The ABC's of How to be a Millionaire?

You forgot ZIRP.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

Dude; Tyler, have you ever heard about OpenOffice and .doc-2-.pdf option and

Yeah, but I get it [no, not the fact that im an asshole [fuck you patronizing voice inside my head]], the sudden influx of n00bs, semi-pros does, indeed, require such "into-your-FACE" introduction to finance terms. 101 style.

Shit, i this post sounds rather fucking insane.

Orly's picture

I would love to have in in a simple .pdf.  It is much easier to attach in an email for everone in our lives who don't understand these terms but have been made very iinterested lately.


anonnn's picture

Buyer Beware on compendiums of definitions. The devil is in the details, as in skewed/wrong data or omitted data.

E.g. CDOs

"A structured credit product backed by a pool of bonds, loans, or other assets."

But, omitted and essential is that the "pool", as above, is not fixed, but can be later remixed, altered or substituted!

"A recent Bloomberg story about one of the CDOs insured by AIG, Davis Square Funding III...So when Davis Square III's investment manager, Trust Company of the West, substituted 2004-vintage bonds with subprime deals issued in 2006 and 2007, AIG got stuck insuring an obligation far more toxic ..."

[From a submission on ZH by David Fiderer. Also was noted in a MarkPittman interview quoted in The Audit.]


Captain Obviousness's picture

If you have OO or Word:

highlight the article --> copy --> paste into OO or Word --> export to PDF

Not sure which versions of Word this works with (works for my 2007 version at work), but it definitely works with most recent OO Writer.

digalert's picture

LMNOP - normally subsequent to HIJK

Cheeky Bastard's picture

mefo bills -  a financial instrument almost equivalent in structure to a governmental bond but differentiates from the aforementioned by the fact that while the price, coupon and yield of a mefo bill may equal that of a governmental bond, most often it does not regardless of the fact that it is issued by a government. The first known use of mefo bills was during re-armament period of Germany when Reich Bundesbank head Hjalmar Schacht issued the bonds of a shell company named Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft and used the proceeds of the sale to finance various industrial sectors of pre-WWII Germany. Such a synthetic financing was conducted due to unavailability of Germany to finance the necessary operations via International Money Markets and International Credit Markets. 

Also; some form or another of Mefo Bills will be issued by the US, EU and various other countries in the future when aforementioned countries will be unable to access international credit markets due to their over-indebtedness and/or high cost of money due to the foreseeable and criminal use of FIAT currency/deficits/military expansion.

All the parties which will be engaged in issuing some form or another of aforementioned bonds will deny all allegations and call such allegations "preposterous"  "not in our interest", "we dont do that, we are the USA" or will simply deny to comment. 

The dynamic of the said process will be monitored and presented by the leader of unbiased, truthful and up-to-date financial news; ZeroHedge.

Expect the process to begin shortly after the consequences of a nuclear downfall in the Middle East reach Worlds most "developed" economies.

Thank you.

Howard_Beale's picture

CB, excellent recovery from that brainfart above. Still laughing at every post of yours yesterday ending in



Hulk's picture

Keep it fucking short CB, its saturday night and folks here are drinking...

junkyard dog's picture

Just a side note for the moment. I was watching the tube waiting on the Bulls vs. Cavs game to start when the broadcast company showed a clip of some NBA ball stars doing their thing on the court. The music for the clip was the Stone's song titled "Rip This Joint". Obviously, no one involved with airing the clip ever listened to the song, except maybe the person who decided to use the song and succeeded in slipping it past the censor. But then again, being a lifetime Stones fan, I can understand what Jagger is singing, and, I have sung that song every time I have heard it.

Turd on the Run...


Lothar the Rottweiler's picture

Don't sweat it, Cheeky.  It's a refresher course for idiots like me who lay around the yard but still don't know all the lingo. :-)

dumpster's picture

laying around the yard not knowing all the lingo

a congress in charge of enforcement

Hulk's picture

What are you drinking tonight Dumpster?

Still light here, so I haven't started yet...

dumpster's picture

hulk  its lined up here from 16%

 to 110%  

i will start at the 110%.. some cranberry juice couple ice cubes.   shake rattle and roll on the floor lol




Hulk's picture

Now that is something I would like to see!

Gotta be good tonight though, don't want to be hungover for a big date tomorrow!


Fish Gone Bad's picture

(Financial) Rape, Rapist: ibid  My stock broker is just raping the hell out of me! 

Mae Kadoodie's picture

How can I get a Cheeky Bastard T-Shirt? I'm size L.  Thanks.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

you can order it with marla

the means of payment for the said clothing article are the following:

1 barrel of high quality Saudi oil

1/10th of 1oz of Gold

100 "Yes we can !" T-shirts  corrected to a lame attempt at humor "Yes we canT" with an olive green magic marker/Obamas face painted to EXACTLY match the Avatar of my Glorious and Infallible Online Identity [formally known as Cheeky Bastard]

Your firstborn

The time of shipment [upon the payment is verified] is "Whenever the fuck i fell like sending you a goddamn shirt via the post office" to "Har Har Har ! You stupid peasant. I just GoldmanSachs'd you " 

Howard_Beale's picture

Those junking idiots just don't get you.



Cheeky Bastard's picture

Its just one idiot; and i think it might be The Megaphone; AIPAC doesnt seem to like me.



Robb's picture

Structured Finance

Imaginary BS

ZeroPower's picture


A financial product that derives its value from an underlying security.


Though if youve watched Moore's latest movie, apparently a wall street 'pro' (more like back-office printing-staff lunch-ordering hack) and a Harvard finance prof have trouble explaining that term.

Tesla's picture

I'd add Eurodollar


And, unless I totally missed it, you forgot CDS and TRS.

John McCloy's picture

  Thanks you for this. As I began studying economics, finance and politics and conversing with many I always felt a tad sharper than most when discussing my opinions and predictions. After spending my first few days wandering around Zero Hedge I found myself feeling like mental midget for this first time in my life...It was then that I knew I was in the right place and every day since then this community has made me more intelligent.

Hulk's picture

In that case, grab yourself a copy of David L Scott's "wall street words, A-Z"

great book,almost as long as the one TD posted above...

Auroch's picture

Saying i like it is. Is why I mostly shut up ad read :)

Grand Supercycle's picture

Overtextended SP500 / DOW daily charts show bearish warnings and the next few days will tell us more.

DOW chart :

Johnny G.'s picture

Green Shoots (see also: Seeds of Hope)

Evidence that things can not get worse (e.g. sales per square foot have increased to over $1,000; but we only have two tennants - Apple and Tiffany).




Bolweevil's picture

Don't forget:

Black Swan

Consumer (Citizen)

Front Running



PigMen Propdesk







Fazzie's picture

 Sheesh, for every dollar of every actual tangible objects worth on planet earth, there must be thousands in paper written against it somewhere.

  Some folks actually buy land on the Moon, and it might a be more stable market than Earth, at least until GS invents lunar credit default swaps (LCDS), hypes them agressively, while naked shorting the crap outta them.



anonnn's picture

I certainly could benefit from a post of collected Financial First Principles.

Suggest away, and let ZH readers edit for workability and succinctness [succinctivity? Succinctability? Succinctedness?].