192 definitions by Abu Yahya

(FINANCE) a type of financial derivative which two parties "swap," or exchange, the streams of income (or payments) from two different sources. The actual instrument is created by a third party, such as an investment bank.

The most familiar version of the swap is the interest rate swap, in which the holder of a fixed rate loan and the holder of an adjustable rate loan agree to exchange revenue streams.

The variety of swaps available is massively greater than with options or futures; essentially, swaps exist for every arbitrage opportunity that any combination of markets provides; the market for swaps is huge.
BILL: Why do firms buy swaps? Why don't they just sell the loans they have to other banks, or whatever?

ANNA: One is that swaps are a method of hedging risk; you hold the bond in case the price goes up, but you buy interest rate swaps to protect against having average rates in your portfolio that are two high or two low.
by Abu Yahya April 05, 2010

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(FINANCE) a financial instrument whose value is tied to something else; for example,

* a futures contract (future)

* an option

* a swap

In each of these examples, the value of the derivative is related in some way to the price of something else. When the market price of (say) an ounce of gold goes from $1000/oz to $1050/oz, the return to the owner of 1 oz. of actual gold is 5%. But for the owner of a call option or a future, the return is much, much greater than that.

A derivative can be used to multiply risk AND potential profits to speculators; but it can be used for the counterparty to minimize risk by locking in prices, or by hedging against risk.
The economic crisis of 2008 has really focused attention on the financial derivative market.
by Abu Yahya April 05, 2010

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a graph correlating inflation against unemployment rates. Using a horizontal axis to represent unemployment, and a vertical axis to represent inflation, A.W. Phillips found the rate of inflation and unemployment in Great Britain for every year between 1861 and 1957. When he had plotted the 97 dots on the chart, he had a rather neat hyperbola convex to the origin of the graph.

In other words, if the rate of unemployment was low, the rate of inflation was high, and vice versa. At the time, economists concluded that this was a logical outcome of both being influenced by the rate of interest: if interest rates were low, then unemployment would be low and prices would rise, but if interest rates were high then there would be lots of unemployment and workers would not have much money to spend... so prices would go down.

Unfortunately, when economists tried to design policy around this concept they disrupted the smooth relationship. In the years since the 1960's, there has not been a straightforward relationship, and Keynesian economics has had to be drastically revised to a post-Phillips Curve regime.

There is some correlation between inflation and unemployment, but the correlation is much more complicated than originally thought. It is quite possible to have high unemployment and high inflation (i.e., a high "misery index").
The Phillips Curve implies a trade-off between unemployment and inflation. Unfortunately, this trade-off may sometimes represent more of a Faustian bargain.
by Abu Yahya February 14, 2009

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(US GOVERNMENT) Federal Open Market Committee; a committee whose members include the 7 governors of the Federal Reserve Board plus five presidents of the Federal Reverse Banks (there are 12 district banks). The FOMC is responsible for open market operations of the Federal Reserve System.
The FOMC manages purchases and sales of Treasury securities.
by Abu Yahya June 16, 2010

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(ECONOMICS) An emergency in which a financial or government institution cannot meet its current obligations in an acceptable form of payment. Different from insolvency, which is where that same institution cannot be realistically expected to EVER meet its obligations.

A good example of the difference is a run on a bank, especially in the days before deposit insurance. A perfectly honest, well-run bank could have all of its books in order, and be paying its depositors in legal tender, when suddenly a panic strikes and everyone wants their deposits all at once. This is necessarily impossible, and forces the bank's officers to default on their debts.

Often, the bank could resume operation later when it was established that it held performing assets greater than deposits. More recently, liquidity crises have been a problem suffered by countries facing capital flight
In 1997, several countries in East Asia were stricken with a liquidity crisis. In many cases, such as Malaysia, the panicked response had nothing whatever to do with fundamentals; it was sheer herd mentality.
by Abu Yahya May 04, 2010

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(FINANCE) hilarious term used for over a century in the trading of stocks, commodities, etc. A way in which someone who controls much of the outstanding shares of stock can make a lot of money while ruining those who are betting against the stock.

A "short" is traditionally someone with expertise in shorting a stock, i.e., managing to borrow shares and sell them in anticipation of a decline in value. Obviously, if there are many people shorting a particular stock at any given time, and if they are wrong about the future, then a steep rise in value if the share price will not only cause them to lose money, it will force panic purchases of stock as the traders attempt to cover their shorts. If the instigator of the squeeze is successful, he will have a corner, and drive the price of the stock up to absurd levels.

An unsuccessful squeeze of shorts in a copper trust triggered the Crisis of 1907. That, in turn, triggered the Aldrich–Vreeland Act (May 1908).
The brokers, after awhile, commenced to borrow large amounts of the stock. This convinced the insiders that there was a big short interest somewhere, and they got together in order to squeeze the shorts... They never awakened to the fact that the {president of the company} had sold out on them... {and were totally ruined}

Henry Clews, Victor Niederhoffer, *Fifty Years in Wall Street*, p.149
by Abu Yahya April 05, 2010

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AEI
(acronym) American Enterprise Institute; an extremely powerful thinktank associated with the Conservative Movement.
The AEI is extremely well-connected, and much favored by business interests.
by Abu Yahya May 29, 2009

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