192 definitions by abu yahya

A person who refines political views to accommodate the prevailing winds; particularly, one who contrives self-serving excuses for political views now generally recognized to have been stupid.
In journalism, the current handwringer-in-chief is the New Yorker writer George Packer, whose book *The Assassins' Gate* has met with high praise from ... a subset of pundits I call trimmers... trimmers criticize ... the foolish president, but avoid unequivocal denunciations of this foolish war.

--John R, MacArthur, "Pro-War Liberals Frozen in the Headlights"
by Abu Yahya January 23, 2009

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Breathless and/or mendacious "Globalization" pieces from neoliberal commentators. A lot of pop economics insists that increased trade in services, intellectual property, and equities will solve every significant problem.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is always good for a large steaming helping of globollocks.
by Abu Yahya August 03, 2008

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(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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