192 definitions by Abu Yahya

The ability of an economic system to provide what people what, given their incomes. Given the fact that incomes and resources are both finite, efficiency will be of the utmost importance in determining if people's wants are satisfied by the workings of the economic system.
Free market economies usually provide high levels of economic efficiency.
by abu yahya June 23, 2008
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(POLICY) an extreme form of capitalism created in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. In some cases, as in Chile (1973), the disaster is a coup d'etat with the express purpose of imposing disaster capitalism. In other cases, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it is a genuine natural disaster that literally kills.

After some disasters, the authorities in some countries may well respond by imposing "reforms" that would have been impossible before. These include: (1) privatization of public property, making it unavailable to the indigenous people; (2) arbitrary elimination of laws ("deregulation"); and (3) slashing democratically chosen programs that help ordinary citizens ("austerity programs").

The concept was popularized in Naomi Klein's excellent 2007 book, *The Shock Doctrine*.
"Disaster capitalism" is neoliberalism imposed undemocratically. It exploits natural disasters, civil wars, foreign invasions, coups d'etat, terrorism, or explicit deception. It always seeks to make its changes irreversible.

Naomi Klein mostly blames the International Monetary Fund, but there are other culprits as well.
by Abu Yahya July 10, 2010
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(FINANCE) Used either as a noun: a situation in which a trader controls the supply of a traded item, such as shares of stock, supplies of a commodity, etc.

Or else, used as a verb: to obtain control over the supply of a thing, so that one can drive the price up to extremely high levels.

Cornering the market for anything (or getting a corner) is extremely difficult and requires not only immense amounts of money (usually borrowed for the purpose), but also timing and the ability to bluff opponents.

A corner is ultimately a long position in the sense that it is a direct attack on investors taking a short position.
The corner must be timed very precisely, because it cannot last for more than a very short time. Even when the the price of the thing (like, say, silver) goes up to very, very high levels, more supplies cannot come onto the market or the corner will be lost.

At the same time, there has to be a target of the corner--some group of people who have to buy the cornered item no matter how high the price goes (otherwise, the quantity demanded will just go to zero). For this reason, corners are nearly always part of an attempt to squeeze the shorts.
by Abu Yahya April 05, 2010
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*noun*; from Greek, θεός {god} + δίκαιον (justice). Literally, "the justice of God." Specifically, the attempt to explain God's ways to mortals.

The term was used by Gottfried Leibniz for his book {Théodicée} explaining how an omnipotent and benevolent God could allow suffering in the universe. Leibniz took the approach that this was the "best of all possible worlds," meaning that God could not have made this world better in any one respect, without making it worse in others.

In 1759, Voltaire published the novel *Candide* which was essentially a very long satire of Leibniz' views. The character of Dr. Pangloss is based on Leibniz, although it has been argued that Voltaire misrepresented Leibniz' views.

In common usage, the term *theodicy* refers to any defense of a thing based on the claim that whatever that thing does is the best possible. The obvious example is neoclassical economics, which insists that whatever outcome achieved by "the market," it is the best one that could possibly exist. It's a fallacy because it uses circular reasoning, and it is unfalsifiable.
Privileged and successful groups need religion for a very different purpose, namely legitimation. Their members are convinced that they deserve their good fortune and that the poor deserve their misfortune. {Max} Weber calls this the "theodicy of good fortune"...

Anthony Waterman in 2002 put forward the suggestion that Smith could be read as offering a kind of Augustinian theodicy of the market. According to him, Smith's idea could be interpreted as thus: just like God put governments in place to restrain sin, the institution of the market also restrains sin.

Nimi Wariboko, *God and Money: A Theology of Money in a Globalizing World* (2008)
by Abu Yahya March 23, 2009
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taking an investment position that will benefit if the value of the stock goes down. Traditionally, "shorting a stock" means borrowing shares of stock from another broker, selling them, then buying them back (after the price has fallen) in order to return the stocks to the broker from whom they were borrowed.

You can short a stock using a derivative; this can include buying futures in the stock (i.e., a contract to sell someone else the stocks); or buying a put option (also called a put). A third way is to write a call (i.e., a call option, also known as a call) for the stock.
Shorting a stock usually requires a great deal of skill and courage; even the most talented short will only make money during rare crises.
by Abu Yahya April 04, 2010
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to introduce a thing as currency, e.g., silver, gold, copper. In nearly all cases, when something has been monetized, it is legal tender and debtors are legally obligated to accept it as payment for debt.

Debt can also be monetized. A government can either buy the debt of companies whose growth it favors as a matter of policy (as in pre-War Japan) or permit its own bonds to be be used as banking reserves (for the creation of money).
In 1878 Congress passed the Bland Bill, which monetized silver at a ratio of 16:1 to gold.
by Abu Yahya January 23, 2009
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The idea that, if you mitigate the consequences of a particular type of accident, then that type of accident will necessarily occur much more frequently, more than negating the initial benefit.

The CF assumes that human nature is perverse and seeks to equalize consequences. Hence, improved automotive technologies such as air bags, ABS, space frames, etc. will be offset (or more than offset) by careless driving, leading to increased highway fatalities.

FALSIFICATION: Empirical evidence shows that, while reducing consequences increases risky behavior, overall safety/health outcomes are better. Insurance companies with a stake in reducing claims verify this.

More generally, the CF confuses all forms of risk-taking, such as faster highway speeds, with fecklessness. Increased speed and convenience (for motorists) has utility; and there is no principle in welfare economics that says risk-taking will increase by an amount sufficient to offset the safety measures.
The massively overrated book *Freakanomics* (Dubner & Leavitt) includes many examples of the curmudgeon's fallacy.
by Abu Yahya August 22, 2008
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