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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Word up

Scott Jagow Sep 15, 2009

In the spirit of Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary,” The Wall Street Journal has created a satirical dictionary for the business lexicon of our economic times. Some pretty funny stuff:

AAA, n., obsolete. A rhetorical device used to dupe buyers into purchasing securities backed by shacks dressed as houses, and to secure the highest possible spot in telephone directories. Common usage: AAA Septic Drainage and Mortgage Backed Security Services.

GREEN SHOOTS, n. 1. The first signs of spring, often clobbered by summer’s heat and autumn’s rain. 2. A sign the economy is falling apart more slowly than previously thought. Related: DAISIES, PUSHING UP. See also THINKING, WISHFUL.

PPIP, or PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP, v.t. Orig: Gladys Knight. To use a form of hypnotism in which merely saying you intend to fix a problem has the effect of making everyone forget about the problem. Usage: “We really peepipped Congress on those AIG bonuses.” See ASSETS, TOXIC.

QUANTITATIVE EASING, n. A regulatory approach based on the point in Western movies when the sheriff, having fired all available bullets, in an act of final desperation throws his gun at the bad guys. See also INFLATION, HYPER.

STIMULUS, n. An indeterminate sum of taxpayer money used to generate violent debate. Previously known as “government spending.”

U-SHAPED RECOVERY, n . An opportunity for economists to incorrectly predict the timing and nature of the recession’s end just as successfully as they incorrectly predicted its inception, depth and duration. Variants include V-shaped recovery, L-shaped recovery and 🙁 shaped recovery.

There are many more — read them here.

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