Campbell R. Harvey's

Hypertextual Finance Glossary

Copyright © 2014. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without explicit permission.

Keep up to date on the latest finance lingo with my new iPad/iPhone app


Download from iTunes

Order my book with the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner for financial writing, Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times


Order via Amazon
Order via Barnes and Noble
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
C
Fifth letter of a Nasdaq stock descriptor specifying that issue is exempt from Nasdaq listing requirements for a temporary period.
CA
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CANADA.
CAC
See: Collective Action Clause
CAD
The ISO 4217 currency code for Canada Dollar.
CADS
See Cash Available for Debt Service.
CAF
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC.
CAGR
See: Compound Annual Growth Rate
CAMPS
See: Cumulative Auction Market Preferred Stocks
CAN
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CANADA.
Capex
See: Capital expenditures
CAPM
See: Capital asset pricing model
CAPS
See: Convertible adjustable preferred stock
CARs
See: Certificates of Automobile Receivables
CARDs
See: Certificates of Amortized Revolving Debt
CATS
See: Certificate of Accrual on Treasury Securities (CATS)
CAX
The ISO 4217 currency code for Canadian Cent.
CBD
See: Cash In Advance.
CBFA
See: Commission Bancaire, Financiere et des Assurances.
CBO
See: Collateralized Bond Obligation.
CBOE
See: Chicago Board Options Exchange
CC
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS.
CCK
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS.
CCO
Chief Compliance Officer.
CCP
See: Central Counterparty Clearing House
CCR
See: Counterparty Credit Risk.
CD (1)
See: Certificate of deposit
CD (2)
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CONGO, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF.
CDC
See: Commonwealth Development Corp
CDN
See: Canadian Dealing Network
CDO
See: Collateralized Debt Obligation.
CDS
See:Credit Default Swap.
CEBS
See: Committee European Banking Supervisors.
CEC
See: Commodities Exchange Center
CF
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC.
CFAT
See: Cash flow after taxes
CFC
See: Controlled foreign corporation
CFD
See: Contract for Difference
CFR
See: Cost and Freight
CFTC
See: Commodity Futures Trading Commission
CG
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for The Congo.
CH
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SWITZERLAND.
CHAP
See: Clearing House Automated Payments System
CHE
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for SWITZERLAND.
CHESS
See: Clearing House Electronic Subregister System
CHF
The ISO 4217 currency code for Swiss Franc.
CHL
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CHILE.
CHN
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CHINA.
CHIPS
See: Clearing House Interbank Payments System
CI
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for COTE D'IVOIRE.
CIV
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COTE D'IVOIRE.
C&I
See: Commercial and Industrial Loans.
CIF
See: Cost Insurance and Freight
CK
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for COOK ISLANDS.
CL
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CHILE.
CLF
The ISO 4217 currency code for Chile Unidades de Fomento.
CLO
See: Collateralized Loan Obligation.
CLP
The ISO 4217 currency code for Chilean Peso.
CM
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CAMEROON.
CMBS
See: Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities
CME
See: Chicago Mercantile Exchange
CML
See: Capital market line
CMO
See: Collateralized mortgage obligation
CMVM
See: Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários.
CMR
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CAMEROON.
CMTA
See: Clearing Member Trade Agreement
CN
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CHINA.
CNMV
See: Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores.
CNOOC
See: China National Offshore Oil Corporation
CNY
The ISO 4217 currency code for Chinese Renminbi (Yuan).
CO
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for COLOMBIA.
Cocos
See: Contingent convertible capital instruments
COD
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CONGO, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF.
COG
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for The Congo.
COK
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COOK ISLANDS.
COL
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COLOMBIA.
COLAs
See: Cost of living adjustments
COM
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COMOROS.
COMEX
A division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Formerly known as the Commodity Exchange, COMEX is the leading US market for metals futures and options trading.
CONSOB
See: Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa.
COP
The ISO 4217 currency code for Colombian Peso.
CPFF
See: Commercial Paper Funding Facility.
CPP
See: Capital Purchase Program
CPPI
See: Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance.
CPT
See: Carriage Paid To
CPV
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CAPE VERDE.
CR
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for COSTA RICA.
CRB
See: Commodity Research Bureau.
CRC
The ISO 4217 currency code for Costa Rican Colon.
CRE
See: Commercial Real Estate Loans.
CRI
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for COSTA RICA.
CSR
See: Corporate social responsibility
CSSF
See: Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier.
CTA
See: Cumulative Translation Adjustment. Also refers to Commodity Trading Advisor.
CTD
See: Cheapest to deliver issue
CTP
See: Certified Treasury Professional.
CU
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CUBA.
CUB
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CUBA.
CUP
The ISO 4217 currency code for Cuban Peso.
CUSIP
See: Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures
CV
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CAPE VERDE.
CVA
See: Credit Valuation Adjustments
CVE
The ISO 4217 currency code for Cape Verde Islands Escudo.
CX
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CHRISTMAS ISLAND.
CXR
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CHRISTMAS ISLAND.
CY
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CYPRUS.
CYM
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CAYMAN ISLANDS.
CYP (1)
The ISO 4217 currency code for Cyprus Pound.
CYP (2)
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CYPRUS.
CZ
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for CZECH REPUBLIC.
CZE
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for CZECH REPUBLIC.
CZK
The ISO 4217 currency code for Czech Republic Koruna.
C
A rating within speculative grade Moody's Long-term Corporate Obligation Rating. Obligations rated C are the lowest rated class of bonds and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest. Rating one notch higher is Ca.
Ca
A rating within speculative grade Moody's Long-term Corporate Obligation Rating. Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest. Rating one notch higher is Caa3. Rating one notch lower is C
Caa1
A rating within speculative grade Moody's Long-term Corporate Obligation Rating. Obligations rated Caa1 are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk. Rating one notch higher is B3. Rating one notch lower is Caa2
Caa2
A rating within speculative grade Moody's Long-term Corporate Obligation Rating. Obligations rated Caa2 are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk. Rating one notch higher is Caa1. Rating one notch lower is Caa3
Caa3
A rating within speculative grade Moody's Long-term Corporate Obligation Rating. Obligations rated Caa3 are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk. Rating one notch higher is Caa2. Rating one notch lower is Ca
Cabinet crowd
NYSE members who trade bonds with a low daily traded volume. See: Automated Bond System.
Cabinet security
A stock or bond listed on a major exchange with low daily traded volume.
Cable
Exchange rate between British pound sterling and the U.S. dollar.
CAC 40 index
A broad-based index of common stocks composed of 40 of the 100 largest companies listed on the forward segment of the official list of the Paris Bourse.
Cage
A section of a brokerage firm used for receiving and disbursing funds.
Calendar
List of new issues scheduled to come to market shortly.
Calendar effect
Describes the tendency of stocks to perform differently at different times. For example, a number of researchers have documented that historically, returns tend to be higher in January compared to other months (especially February). Others have documented returns patterns across days of the week and within the day. Some of these patterns are found in volume and volatility as well as returns.
Calendar spread
Applies to derivative products. A strategy in which there is a simultaneous purchase and sale of options of the same class at the same strike prices, but with different expiration date.
Calendar Straddle or Combination
See Calendar Spread.
Call
An option that gives the holder the right to buy the underlying asset.
Call date
A date before maturity, specified at issuance, when the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond for a specified call price.
Call feature
Part of the indenture agreement between the bond issuer and buyer describing the schedule and price of redemptions prior to maturity.
Call loan
A loan repayable on demand. Sometimes used as a synonym for broker loan or broker overnight loan.
Call loan rate
See: Call money rate
Call money rate
Also called the broker loan rate , the interest rate that banks charge brokers to finance margin loans to investors. The broker charges the investor the call money rate plus a service charge.
Call option
An option contract that gives its holder the right (but not the obligation) to purchase a specified number of shares of the underlying stock at the given strike price, on or before the expiration date of the contract.
Call an option
To exercise a call option.
Call premium
Premium in price above the par value of a bond or share of preferred stock that must be paid to holders to redeem the bond or share of preferred stock before its scheduled maturity date.
Call price
The price, specified at issuance, at which the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond at a specified call date.
Call protection
A feature of some callable bonds that establishes an initial period when the bonds may not be called.
Call provision
An embedded option granting a bond issuer the right to buy back all or part of an issue prior to maturity.
Call risk
The combination of cash flow uncertainty and reinvestment risk introduced by a call provision.
Call swaption
A swaption in which the buyer has the right to enter into a swap as a fixed-rate payer. The writer therefore becomes the fixed-rate receiver/floating-rate payer.
Callability
Feature of a security that allows the issuer to redeem the security prior to maturity by calling it in, or forcing the holder to sell it back.
Callable
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Redeemable by the issuer before the scheduled maturity under specific conditions and at a stated price, which usually begins at a premium to par and declines annually. Bonds are usually called when interest rates fall so significantly that the issuer can save money by issuing new bonds at lower rates.
Called away
Convertible: Redeemed before maturity.
Option: Call or put option exercised against the stockholder.
Sale: Delivery required on a short sale.
Cumulative Auction Market Preferred Stocks (CAMPS)
Stands for Cumulative Auction Market Preferred Stocks, Oppenheimer & Company's Dutch Auction preferred stock product.
Canadian agencies
Agency banks established by Canadian Banks in the U.S.
Canadian Dealing Network (CDN)
The organized OTC market of Canada. Formerly known as the Canadian Over-the-Counter Automated Trading System (COATS), the CDN became a subsidiary of the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1991.
Candlestick chart
A popular method of charting price fluctuations that displays an asset's opening, closing, high, and low prices for the period.  Points on a candlestick chart are represented as a box, called the real body, with a vertical line on both the top and bottom.  White-bodied boxes represent upward movement in the price of the asset: the bottom of the body is the opening price and the top of the body is the closing price.  Black-bodied boxes represent downward movement in the price of the asset: the bottom of the body is the closing price and the top of the body is the opening price.  In both cases, the top vertical line shows the high price for the period, and the bottom vertical line shows the low price for the period. See: Real body.
"Can get $xxx"
Refers to over-the-counter trading. "I have a buyer who will pay $xxx for the stock". Usually a standard markdown from $xxx is applied to this price in bidding the seller for its stock. Antithesis of cost me.
Cancel
To void an order to buy or sell from (1) the floor, or (2) the trader/salesperson's scope. In Autex, the indication still remains on record as having once been placed unless it is expunged.
Canceled Certificates
Before the issuance of a new certificate, the old certificate is presented to the Transfer Agent and is canceled.
"Cannot compete"
In the context of general equities, cannot accommodate customers at that price level (i.e., compete with other market makers), often because there is no natural opposite side of the trade.
"Cannot complete"
In the context of general equities, inability to finish an order on a principal or agency basis, given prevailing price instructions and/or market conditions.
Cap
An upper limit on the interest rate on a floating-rate note (FRN) or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Also, an OTC derivatives contract consisting of a series of European interest rate call options; used to protect an issuer of floating-rate debt from interest rate increases. Each individual call option within the cap is called a caplet. Opposite of a floor.
Capacity
Credit grantors' measurement of a person's ability to repay loans.
Capacity utilization rate
The percentage of the economy's total plant and equipment that is currently in production. Usually, a decrease in this percentage signals an economic slowdown, while an increase signals economic expansion.
Capital
Money invested in a firm.
Capital account
Net result of public and private international investment and lending activities.
Capital allocation decision
Allocation of invested funds between risk-free assets and the risky portfolio.
Capital appreciation
See: Capital growth
Capital appreciation fund
See: Aggressive growth fund
Capital asset
A long-term asset, such as land or a building, not purchased or sold in the normal course of business.
Capital asset pricing model (CAPM)
An economic theory that describes the relationship between risk and expected return, and serves as a model for the pricing of risky securities. The CAPM asserts that the only risk that is priced by rational investors is systematic risk, because that risk cannot be eliminated by diversification. The CAPM says that the expected return of a security or a portfolio is equal to the rate on a risk-free security plus a risk premium multiplied by the asset's systematic risk. Theory was invented by William Sharpe (1964) and John Lintner (1965). The early work of Jack Treynor is was also instrumental in the development of this model.
Capital budget
A firm's planned capital expenditures.
Capital budgeting
The process of choosing the firm's long-term assets.
Capital Builder Account (CBA)
A Merrill Lynch brokerage account that allows investors to access the loan value of his or her eligible securities to buy or sell securities. Excess cash in a CBA can be invested in a money market fund or an insured money market deposit account without losing access to the money.
Capital charge rate
. The capital charge is the cost of capital times the amount of invested capital. This capital charge is a dollar amount. By capital charge rate is just the cost of capital. In other words, the capital charge rate is the rate or return required on invested capital.
Capital commitments
In the context of private equity, capital commitment is a limited partner's obligation (promise) to provide certain amount of capital to a fund.
Capital expenditures
Amount used during a particular period to acquire or improve long-term assets such as property, plant, or equipment.
Capital flight
The transfer of capital abroad in response to fears of political risk.
Capital formation
Expansion of capital or capital goods through savings, which leads to economic growth.
Capital gain
When a stock is sold for a profit, the capital gain is the difference between the net sales price of the securities and their net cost, or original basis. If a stock is sold below cost, the difference is a capital loss.
Capital gains distribution
A distribution to the shareholders of a mutual fund out of profits from selling stocks or bonds, that is subject to capital gains taxes for the shareholders.
Capital gains tax
The tax levied on profits from the sale of capital assets. A long-term capital gain, which is achieved once an asset is held for at least 12 months, is taxed at a maximum rate of 20% (taxpayers in 28% tax bracket) and 10% (taxpayers in 15% tax bracket). Assets held for less than 12 months are taxed at regular income tax levels, and, since January 1, 2000, assets held for at least five years are taxed at 18% and 8%.
Capital gains yield
The price change portion of a stock's return.
Capital goods
Goods used by firms to produce other goods, e.g., office buildings, machinery, equipment.
Capital growth
The increase in an asset's market price. Also called capital appreciation.
Capital infusion
Often refers to the cross-subsidization of divisions within a firm. When one division is not doing well, it might benefit from an infusion of new funds from the more successful divisions. In the context of venture capital, it can also refer to funds received from a venture capitalist to either get the firm started or to save it from failing due to lack of cash.
Capital-intensive
Used to describe industries that require large investments in capital assets to produce their goods, such as the automobile industry. These firms require large profit margins and/or low costs of borrowing to survive.
Capital International Indexes
Market indexes maintained by Morgan Stanley that track major stock markets worldwide.
Capital investment
See: Capital expenditure.
Capital lease
A lease obligation that has to be capitalized on the balance sheet.
Capital loss
The difference between the net cost of a security and the sales price, if the security is sold at a loss. Also used in a more general context to refer to the market for stocks, bonds, derivatives and other investments.
Capital market
Traditionally, this has referred to the market for trading long-term debt instruments (those that mature in more than one year). That is, the market where capital is raised. More recently, capital markets is used in a more general context to refer to the market for stocks, bonds, derivatives and other investments.
Capital market efficiency
The degree to which the present asset price accurately reflects current information in the market place. See: Efficient market hypothesis.
Capital market imperfections view
The view that issuing debt is generally valuable, but that the firm's optimal choice of capital structure involves various other views of capital structure ( net corporate/personal tax, agency cost, bankruptcy cost, and pecking order), that result from considerations of asymmetric information, asymmetric taxes, and transaction costs.
Capital market line (CML)
The line defined by every combination of the risk-free asset and the market portfolio. The line represents the risk premium you earn for taking on extra risk. Defined by the capital asset pricing model.
Capital market proceeds
Companies often go to the capital market to raise money, usually for new investment projects. They might issue new equity, bonds, or rights. The proceeds refers to the amount raised in the capital market. The net proceeds are after all underwriting costs.
Capital Purchase Program
A preferred stock and equity warrant purchase program created by US Treasury in October 2008 to stabilize the financial institutions of all sizes throughout U.S. CPP is a part of Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).$250 billion was allocated for CPP out of $700 billion TARP fund.
Capital rationing
Placing limits on the amount of new investment undertaken by a firm, either by using a higher cost of capital, or by setting a maximum on the entire capital budget or parts of it.
Capital requirements
Financing required for the operation of a business, composed of long-term and working capital plus fixed assets.
Capital reserve
Retained earnings that may not be distributed to shareholders as dividends.
Capital shares
One of two types of shares in a dual-purpose investment company, which entitle the holder to the appreciation or depreciation in the value of a portfolio, as well as the gains from trading in the portfolio. Antithesis of income shares.
Capital stock
Stock authorized by a firm's charter and having par value, stated value, or no par value. The number and the value of issued shares are usually shown, together with the number of shares authorized, in the capital accounts section of the balance sheet. See: Common stock.
Capital structure
The makeup of the liabilities and stockholders' equity side of the balance sheet, especially the ratio of debt to equity and the mixture of short and long maturities.
Capital surplus
Amounts of directly contributed equity capital in excess of the par value.
Capital turnover
Calculated by dividing annual sales by average stockholder equity (net worth). The ratio indicates how much a company could grow its current capital investment level. Low capital turnover generally corresponds to high profit margins.
Capitalization
The debt and/or equity mix that funds a firm's assets.
Capitalization method
A method of constructing a replicating portfolio in which the manager purchases a number of the most highly capitalized names in the stock index in proportion to their capitalization.
Capitalization rate
The interest rate used to calculate the present value of a number of future payments.
Capitalization ratios
Also called financial leverage ratios, these ratios compare debt to total capitalization and thus reflect the extent to which a corporation is trading on its equity. Capitalization ratios can be interpreted only in the context of the stability of industry and company earnings and cash flow.
Capitalization table
A table showing the capitalization of a firm, which typically includes the amount of capital obtained from each source - long-term debt and common equity - and the respective capitalization ratios.
Capitalization-Weighted Index
A stock index which is computed by adding the capitalization (float times price) of each individual stock in the index, and then dividing by the divisor. The stocks with the largest market values have the heaviest weighting in the index. See also Float, Divisor.
Capitalized
Recorded in asset accounts and then depreciated or amortized, as is appropriate for expenditures for items with useful lives longer than one year.
Capitalized interest
Interest that is not immediately expensed, but rather is considered as an asset and is then amortized through the income statement over time. In the context of project financing, interest that is paid by additional borrowing.
Capped-Style Option
A capped option is an option with an established profit cap or cap price. The cap price is equal to the option's strike price plus a cap interval for a call option or the strike price minus a cap interval for a put option. A capped option is automatically exercised when the underlying security closes at or above (for a call) or at or below (for a put) the Option's cap price.
Captive finance company
A company, usually a subsidiary that is wholly owned, whose main function is financing consumer purchases from the parent company.
Caput
An exotic option. It represents a call option on a put option. That is, you purchase the option to buy a put option at a particular price on or before the expiration date.
Car
A loose quantity term sometimes used to describe the amount of a commodity underlying one commodity contract; e.g., "a car of bellies." Derived from the fact that quantities of the product specified in a contract once corresponded closely to the capacity of a railroad car.
Caracas Stock Exchange
Originally established in 1947 and merged with a competitor in 1974 to become the only securities exchange of Venezuela.
Cargo
Goods being transported.
Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP)
Seller is responsible for the payment of freight to carry goods to a named overseas destination. The seller is also responsible for providing cargo insurance at minimum coverage against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during transport. The risk of loss or damage is transferred from the seller to the buyer once the goods are delivered into the carrier's custody. This term may be used for any mode of transport.
Carriage Paid To (CPT)
Seller is responsible for the payment of freight to carry goods to a named overseas destination. The risk of loss or damage is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the carrier's custody. This term may be used for any mode of transport.
Carried interest
In private equity fund or hedge fund, carried interest is a share of the profits of a successful partnership that is paid to the manager of the partnership as a form of compensation. Carried interest is typically up to 20% of the profits and becomes payable once the original investment in the fund has been repaid to the investors, plus a predefined hurdle rate.
Carrot equity
British slang for an equity investment with the added benefit of an opportunity to purchase more equity if the company reaches certain financial goals.
Carry
Related: Net financing cost.
Carryback
See Loss carryback.
Carryover
Funds unused during a financial year which are transferred to the budget for the following year.
Carry Trade
For the bond market, this refers to a trade where you borrow and pay interest in order to buy something else that has higher interest. For example, with a positively sloped term structure (short rates lower than long rates), one might borrow at low short term rates and finance the purchase of long-term bonds. The carry return is the coupon on the bonds minus the interest costs of the short-term borrowing. Of course, if long-term interest rates unexpectedly rose(and long-term bond prices fell as a result), the carry trade could become unprofitable. Indeed, if this occured, there could be a number of investors trying to unwind the carry trade, which would involve selling the long-term bonds. It is possible that this could exacerbate the increase in long-term interest rates, i.e. push the rates even higher. For currency, you buy the currency that has the highest local short term interest rate. For more information on currency, see: Currency Carry Trade.
Carryforwards
Tax losses allowed to be applied to offset future income in some specified number of future years.
Carrying charge
The fee a broker charges for carrying securities on credit, such as on a margin account. Also, any component of a futures basis, such as storage costs, interest charges or insurance costs on the underlying interest.
Carrying costs
Costs that increase with increases in the level of investment in current assets.
Carrying value
Book value.
Cartel
A group of businesses or nations that act together as a single producer to obtain market control and to influence prices in their favor by limiting production of a product. The United States has laws prohibiting cartels.
Carve out
Usually occurs when a company decides to IPO one of their subsidiaries or divisions. The company usually only offers a minority share to the equity market. Also known as equity carve out.
Case-Shiller index
A family of S&P indices created by Karl Case, Robert Shiller, and Allan Weiss used to measure the nominal value of home prices in the U.S.  The Case-Shiller Indices, which are based on 20 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), use data on single-family homes sold more than once (resale homes) and re-sold sale prices to provide a weighted and quality-adjusted assessment of the real estate market.  Calculated each month by Fiserv, Inc., the family of indices consists of 20 MSA indices and two aggregated indices.
Cash
The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a company. Usually includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and banker's acceptances. Cash equivalents on balance sheets include securities that mature within 90 days (e.g., notes).
Cash account
A brokerage account that settles transactions on a cash-rather than credit-basis.
Cash Available for Debt Service
Ratio of cash assets to debt service (interest plus nearby principal). Used in evaluating the risk of a project or firm. The higher the ratio the less likely the firm or project will fail to meet its debt obligations.
Cash asset ratio
Cash and marketable securities divided by current liabilities. See: Liquidity ratios.
Cashed-Based
Refering to an option or future that is settled in cash when exercised or assigned. No physical entity, either stock or commodity, is received or delivered.
Cash balance pension plan
A cash balance pension plan is a defined-benefit plan that is maintained on an individual account basis. The employer contributes to a participant's account with a set percentage of annual compensation plus interest charges. The company holds all ownership of profits and losses in the portfolio.
Cash basis
Refers to the accounting method that recognizes revenues and expenses when cash is actually received or paid out.
Cash and equivalents
The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a company. Usually includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as bonds and Banker's Acceptances. Cash equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.
Cash budget
A forecasted summary of a firm's expected cash inflows and cash outflows as well as its expected cash and loan balances.
Cash & carry
Applies to derivative products. Combination of a long position in a stock/index/commodity and short position in the underlying futures, which entails a cost of carry on the long position. Also known as cash and carry arbitrage.
Cash commodity
The actual physical commodity, as distinguished from a futures contract.
Cash conversion cycle
The length of time between a firm's purchase of inventory and the receipt of cash from accounts receivable.
Cash cow
A company that pays out most of its earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.
Cash cycle
In general, the time between cash disbursement and cash collection. In net working capital management, it can be thought of as the operating cycle less the accounts payable payment period.
Cash deficiency agreement
An agreement to invest cash in a project to the extent required to cover any cash deficiency the project may experience.
Cash delivery
The provision of some futures contracts that requires not delivery of underlying assets but settlement according to the cash value of the asset.
Cash discount
An incentive offered to purchasers of a firm's product for payment within a specified time period, such as ten days.
Cash dividend
A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in addition to the dividend.
Cash earnings
A firm's cash revenues less cash expenses, which excludes the costs of depreciation.
Cash-equivalent items
Examples include Treasury bills and Banker's Acceptances.
Cash flow
In investments, cash flow represents earnings before depreciation, amortization, and non-cash charges. Sometimes called cash earnings. Cash flow from operations (called funds from operations by real estate and other investment trusts) is important because it indicates the ability to pay dividends.
Cash flow after interest and taxes
Net income plus depreciation.
Cash flow break-even point
The point below which the firm will need either to obtain additional financing or to liquidate some of its assets to meet its fixed costs.
Cash flow per common share
Cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the number of common shares outstanding.
Cash flow coverage ratio
The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments, preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental payments, and depreciation.
Cash flow matching
Also called dedicating a portfolio, this is an alternative to multiperiod immunization that calls for the manager to match the maturity of each element in the liability stream, working backward from the last liability to assure all required cash flows.
Cash flow from operations
A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations (disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus noncash expenses that are deducted in calculating net income.
Cash flow time line
Line depicting the operating activities and cash flows for a firm over a particular period.
Cash in Advance
A payment term meaning the buyer pays the seller before shipment is effected.
Cash In Lieu (CIL)
In a typical exchange offer, "old" shares of the target company are exchanged for "new shares".
Cash investments
Short-term debt instruments—such as commercial paper, banker's acceptances, and Treasury bills—that mature in less than one year. Also known as money market instruments or cash reserves.
Cash management
Refers to the efficient management of cash in a business in order to put the cash to work more quickly and to keep the cash in applications that produce income, such as the use of lock boxes for payments.
Cash management bill
Very short-maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash balances are down and it needs money for a few days.
Cash markets
Also called spot markets, these are markets that involve the immediate delivery of a security or instrument. Related: Derivative markets.
Cash offer
Often used in risk arbitrage. Proposal, either hostile or friendly, to acquire a target company through the payment of cash for the stock of the target. Compare to exchange offer.
Cash-on-cash return
A method used to find the return on investments when there is no active secondary market. The yield is determined by dividing the annual cash income by the total investment. See: Current yield or yield to maturity.
Cash on delivery (COD)
In the context of securities, this refers to the practice of institutional investors paying the full purchase price for securities in cash.
Cash-out Laws
These laws enable shareholders to sell their stakes to a "controlling" shareholder at a price based on the highest price of recently acquired shares. This works something like Fair-Price provisions extended to nontakeover situations. A few states have these laws.
Cash plus convertible
Convertible bond that requires cash payment upon conversion.
Cash position
The percentage of a mutual fund's assets invested in short-term reserves, such as US Treasury bills or other money market instruments.
Cash price
Applies to derivative products. See: Spot price.
Cash-liabilities ratio
Used as a measure of liquidity in a corporation. Calculated as the ratio of cash and cash equivalents to current liabilities.
Cash ratio
The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.
Cash reserves
See: Cash investments
Cash sale/settlement
Transaction in which a contract is settled on the same day as the trade date, or the next day if the trade occurs after 2:30 p.m. EST and the parties agree to this procedure. Often occurs because a party is strapped for cash and cannot wait until the regular three-business day settlement. See: Settlement date.
Cash Settlement
The process by which the terms of an option contract are fulfilled through the payment or receipt in dollars of the amount by which the option is in-the-money as opposed to delivering or receiving the underlying stock.
Cash settlement contracts
Futures contracts such as stock index futures that settle for cash and do not involve delivery of the underlying.
Cash-surrender value
The amount an insurance company will pay if the policyholder tenders or cashes in a whole life insurance policy.
Cash transaction
A transaction in which exchange is immediate in the form of cash, unlike a forward contract (which calls for future delivery of an asset at an agreed-upon price).
Cash value life insurance
A combination of term life insurance with a savings component. A portion of the premium is used to fund a savings or investment component that the policyholder can access by borrowing against it or by cashing in the policy.
Cashbook
An accounting book that is composed of cash receipts plus disbursements. This balance is posted to the cash account in the ledger.
Cashier's check
A check drawn directly on a customer's account, making the bank the primary obligor, and assuring firm that the amount will be paid.
Cashout
Occurs when a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.
Casualty-insurance
Insurance protecting a firm or homeowner against loss of property, damage, and other liabilities.
Casualty loss
A financial loss caused by damage, destruction, or loss of property as a result of an unexpected or unusual event.
Catastrophe call
Early redemption of a municipal revenue bond because a catastrophe has destroyed the project that provided the revenue source backing the bond.
Catastrophe bond
Also known as cat bonds, these are used as a way for insurance agents to transfer risks to investors. They are often attractive to investors because the risks (like that of an earthquake) are uncorrelated with the business cycle – and, hence, provide natural diversification. Cat bond is typically structured so that if a major natural catastrophe hits, the principal initially paid by the investors is forgiven and used by the sponsor (the insurer) to pay its claims to policyholders.
Cats and dogs
Speculative stocks with short histories of sales, earnings, and dividend payments.
Caveat emptor, caveat subscriptor
Latin expressions for "buyer beware" and "seller beware," which warn of overly risky, inadequately protected markets.
C Corporations
C corporations are taxed under the Federal income tax laws and most major companies are treated as C corporations for federal tax purposes. See: S Corporatons
CDO squared
A CDO in which the underlying asset pool contains tranches of other CDOs.
Cease-and-desist order
An order issued after notice and opportunity for hearing, requiring a depository institution, a holding company or a depository institution official to terminate unlawful, unsafe or unsound banking practices. Cease-and-desist orders are issued by the appropriate federal regulatory agencies under the Financial Institutions Supervisory Act and can be enforced directly by the courts.
Cede & Co.
Nominee name for The Depository Trust Company, a large clearing house that holds shares in its name for banks, brokers and institutions in order to expedite the sale and transfer of stock.
CEDEL
A centralized clearing system for Eurobonds.
Ceiling
The highest price, interest rate, or other numerical factor allowable in a financial transaction.
Centillion
A unit of quantity equal to 10303 (1 followed by 303 zeros).
Central bank
A country's main bank whose responsibilities include the issue of currency, the administration of monetary policy, open market operations, and engaging in transactions designed to facilitate healthy business interactions. See: Federal Reserve System.
Central bank intervention
The buying or selling of currency, foreign or domestic, by central banks in order to influence market conditions or exchange rate movements.
Central bank liquidity swap
Announced by the Federal Reserve on December 12, 2007, the Fed made temporary agreements with 14 central banks around the world to provide liquidity in U.S. dollars to overseas markets. The agreements terminated on Feb. 1, 2010.
Central Counterparty Clearing House
An organization in European countries that helps facilitate trading done in European derivatives and equities market.
Central Limit Theorem
The Law of Large Numbers states that as a sample of independent, identically distributed random numbers approaches infinity, its probability density function approaches the normal distribution. See: Normal Distribution.
Centralized cash flow management
Provision of consolidated cash management decisions to all MNC units from one location, usually at the parent's headquarters.
Cents per share
The amount of a mutual fund's dividend or capital gains distributions that a shareholder will receive for each share owned.
Checkwriting
Free checkwriting privileges offered with nonretirement accounts for select mutual funds.
Certainty equivalent
An amount that would be accepted today (risk free) in lieu of a chance to receive a possibly higher, but uncertain, amount.
Certainty Equivalent Return
The certain (zero risk) return an investor would trade for a given (larger) return with an associated risk. For example, a particular investor might trade an uncertain expected 4% active return with 6% risk, for a certain active return of 1.5%. Used as a way to incorporate individual investor risk tolerances into financial decisions.
Certificate
A formal document used to record a fact and used as proof of the fact, such as stock certificates, that evidence ownership of stock in a corporation.
Certificate of Accrual on Treasury Securities (CATS)
Refers to a zero-coupon US Treasury issue that is sold at a deep discount from the face value and pays no coupon interest during its lifetime, but returns the full face value at maturity.
Certificate of deposit (CD)
Also called a time deposit this is a certificate issued by a bank or thrift that indicates a specified sum of money has been deposited. A CD has a maturity date and a specified interest rate, and can be issued in any denomination. The duration can be up to five years.
Certificate of Origin
A document certifying the country of origin for goods sold internationally.
Certificates of Amortized Revolving Debt (CARD)
Pass-through securities backed by credit card receivables.
Certificates of Automobile Receivables (CAR)
Pass-through securities backed by automobile loan receivables.
Certificateless municipals
Municipal bonds with one certificate which is valid for the entire issue, and having no individual certificates, easing transactions. See: Book-entry securities.
Certified check
A bank guaranteed check for which funds are immediately withdrawn, and for which the bank is legally liable.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
A person who has passed examinations accredited by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, showing that the person is able to manage a client's banking, estate, insurance, investment, and tax affairs.
Certified financial statements
Financial statements that include an accountant's opinion.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
An accountant who has met certain standards, including experience, age, and licensing, and passed exams in a particular state.
Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
Certification in corporate treasury management offered by Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).
Chair of the board
Highest-ranking member of a Board of Directors, who presides over its meetings and who is often the most powerful officer of a corporation.
Chain base index
For this type of index, a value in any specific time period is based on the value of the same entity in the preceding period.  Changes in values can be compared between sequential time periods. This differs from a fixed base index in which values in any period are based on the initial value. See: Fixed base index, Index number
Chapter 7 Proceedings
Provisions of the Bankruptcy Reform Act under which the debtor firm's assets are liquidated by a court because reorganization would fail to establish a profitable business.
Chapter 9
A section of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that deals with reorganization of a municipality’s debt. Also known as Municipal reorganization.
Chapter 11 Proceedings
Provisions of the Bankruptcy Reform Act under which the debtor firm is reorganized by a court because the estimated value of the reorganized firm exceeds the expected proceeds from its liquidation.
Chapter 12
A section of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that deals with agricultural bankruptcies. It is simpler, more streamlined, and less expensive than Chapter 11.
Chapter 13
A section of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that deals with reorganization of debt of wage-earning individuals, including the opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure.
Chapter 22
A colloquial term that refers to a second Chapter 11 filing by a corporation.
Chapter 33
A colloquial term that refers to a third Chapter 11 filing by a corporation.
Changes in financial position
Sources and uses of funds provided from operations that alter a company's cash flow position: depreciation, deferred taxes, other sources, and capital expenditures.
Characteristic line
The market model applied to a single security; a regression of security returns on the benchmark return. The slope of the regression line is a security's beta.
Characteristic portfolio
A portfolio which efficiently represents a particular asset characteristic. For a given characteristic, it is the minimum risk portfolio, with portfolio characteristic equal to 1. For example, the characteristic portfolio of asset betas is the benchmark. It is the minimum risk beta = 1 portfolio.
Charge
The document evidencing mortgage security required by Crown Law (law derived from English law). A Fixed Charge refers to a defined set of assets and is usually registered. A Floating Charge refers to other assets which change from time to time (ie. cash, inventory, etc.), which become a Fixed Charge after a default.
Charge back
A transaction where the card holder bank reverses a previous transaction between a merchant and a consumer in case of a dispute. The bank reimburses the consumer by withdrawing the transaction amount from the merchant’s account
Charge off
See: Bad debt
Charitable remainder trust
An irrevocable trust that pays income to a designated person or persons until the grantor's death, when the income is passed on to a designated charity. A charitable lead trust by contrast allows the charity to receive income during the grantor's life, and the remaining income to pass to designated family members upon the grantor's death.
Charter
See: Articles of incorporation
Charter Amendment Limitations
These provisions limit shareholders' ability to amend the governing documents of the corporation. This might take the form of a supermajority vote requirement for charter or bylaw amendments, total elimination of the ability of shareholders to amend the bylaws, or the ability of directors beyond the provisions of state law to amend the bylaws without shareholder approval.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
An experienced financial analyst who has passed examinations in economics, financial accounting, portfolio management, security analysis, and standards of conduct given by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.
Chartists
A technical analyst who charts the patterns of stocks, bonds, and commodities to find trends in patterns of trading used to advise clients. Related: Technical analysts.
Chasing the market
Purchasing a security at a higher price than expected because prices are rapidly climbing, or selling a security at a lower level when prices are quickly falling.
Chastity bonds
Bonds redeemable at par value in the case of a takeover.
Chatter
See: Whipsawed
Chattel Mortgage
A loan agreement that grants to the lender a lien on property other than real estate. Chattel is personal or movable property.
Cheapest to deliver issue
The acceptable Treasury security with the highest implied repo rate; the rate that a seller of a futures contract can earn by buying an issue and then delivering it at the settlement date.
Check
A bill of exchange representing a draft on a bank from deposited funds that pays a certain sum of money to a certain person or party.
Check clearing
The movement of a check from the depository institution at which it was deposited back to the institution on which it was written; the movement of funds in the opposite direction and the corresponding credit and debit to the involved accounts. The Federal Reserve operates a nationwide check-clearing system.
Checking Account
A deposit account held with a financial institution that allows for withdrawals through checks, automated teller machines, or debit cards. Typically pays no interest or lower interest rate as compared to Savings account
Checking the market
Searching for bid and offer prices from market makers to find the best deal.
Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)
A securities exchange created in the early 1970s for the public trading of standardized option contracts. Primary place for the trading of stock options, foreign currency options, and index options (S&P 100, 500, and OTC 250 index)
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)
The second largest futures exchange in the US, and a pioneer in the development of financial futures and options. CBOT merged with Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in July 2007 and is now operated as a unit of the CME group.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is the largest futures exchange in the United States and the second largest exchange in the world for the trading of futures and options on futures. Founded in 1898 as a not-for-profit corporation, in November 2000 CME became the first U.S. financial exchange to demutualize and become a shareholder-owned corporation. Its futures and options on futures trade on CME's trading floors, on its GLOBEX electronic trading platform and through privately negotiated transactions. CME has four major product areas based on interest rates (including Eurodollar futures, the world's most actively traded futures contract), stock indexes (such as the (S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures), foreign exchange and commodities.
Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX)
A major exchange trading only stocks, with 90% of trades taking place on an automated execution system, called MAX.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
A title held often by the Chairperson of the Board, or the president. The person principally responsible for the activities of a company.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The officer of a firm responsible for handling the financial affairs of a company.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The officer of a firm responsible for day-to-day management, usually the president or an executive vice-president.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc)
One of the three major national oil companies of China. 70% owned by the government of China. A subsidiary is listed in Hong Kong and New York
Chinese hedge
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Trading hedge in which one is short the convertible and long the underlying common, in the hope that the convertible's premium will fall. Antithesis of set-up.
Chinese wall
Communication barrier between financiers at a firm (investment bankers) and traders. This barrier is erected to prevent the sharing of inside information that bankers are likely to have.
Choice market
Applies mainly to international equities. Locked market in London terminology.
Chooser option
An option that gives its holder the right to choose at a pre-specified time (before maturity) whether the option is a call or a put.
Churning
Excessive trading of a client's account in order to increase the broker's commissions.
Cincinnati Stock Exchange (CSE)
Stock exchange based in Cincinnati that is the only fully automated stock exchange in the US. It has no trading floor, but handles all members' transactions using computers.
Circle
Underwriters, actual or potential, often seek out and "circle" investor interest in a new issue before final pricing. The customer circled has basically made a commitment to purchase the issue if it is available at an agreed-upon price. If the actual price is other than that stipulated, the customer supposedly has first offer at the actual price.
Circuit breakers
Measures instituted by exchanges to stop trading temporarily when the market has fallen by a certain percentage in a specified period. They are intended to prevent a market free fall by permitting buy and sell orders to rebalance.
Circus swap
A fixed-rate currency swap against floating US dollar LIBOR payments. An acronym that stands for Combined Interest Rate and CUrrency Swap.
Citizen bonds
Certificateless municipals that can be registered on stock exchanges and are listed in newspapers.
City code on takeovers and mergers
See: Dawn raid
Claim dilution
A decrease in the likelihood that one or more of a firm's claimants will be fully repaid, including time value of money considerations.
Claimant
A party to an explicit or implicit contract.
Class
In the case of derivative products, options of the same type-put or call-with the same underlying security. See: Series. In general, refers to a category of assets such as: domestic equity, fixed income, etc.
Class A/Class B shares
See: Classified stock
Class action
A legal complaint filed by a lawyer or group of lawyers for a group of petitioners with an identical grievance, often with an award proportionate to the number of shareholders involved.
Class of Options
Option contracts of the smae type (call or put) and Style (American, European or Capped) that cover the same underlying security.
Classified Board
Also known as Staggered Board: is one in which the directors are placed into different classes and serve overlapping terms. Since only part of the board can be replaced each year, an outsider who gains control of a corporation may have to wait a few years before being able to gain control of the board. This slow replacement makes a classified board an effective delays of takeovers. Sometimes known as a delay provision.
Classified stock
The division of stock into more than one class of common stock, usually called Class A and Class B. The specific features of each class, which are set out in the charter and bylaws, usually give certain advantages to the Class A shares, such as increased voting power.
Claused Bill of Lading
A bill of lading with a notation that indicates damage or shortage. Also called foul bill of lading and are the opposite of clean bills of lading.
Clawback
A dividend clawback is an arrangement whereby the equity owners commit to use dividends they have received in the past to finance the cash needs of the project or corporation in the future. Clawback has a more general definition. For example, premiums paid on an insurance policy may be refunded (or clawed back) if the policy is cancelled in a certain time frame. Such an arrangement is specified in the contract and referred to as a clawback provision.
Clean
In the context of general equities, block trade that matches buy or sell orders/interests, sparing the block trader any inventory risk (no net position and hence none available for additional customers). Natural. Antithesis of open.
Clean Bill of Lading
A bill of lading bearing no findings of damage or shortage.
Clean opinion
An auditor's opinion reflecting an unqualified acceptance of a company's financial statements.
Clean price
Bond price excluding accrued interest.
Clean Report of Findings
A report issued by an inspection firm, indicating that price has been verified, that the goods have been inspected prior to shipment, and that both conform to buyer specifications.
Clean up
In the context of general equities, purchase/sale of all the remaining supply of stock, or the last piece of a block, in a trade-leaving a net zero position.
Clean-up merger
Consolidation of the acquired firm into the acquiring firm after the merger. Also called take-out merger.
"Clean your skirts"
In the context of general equities, i.e. "make all your obligated calls" check with all prior obligations in a security. Often preceded by "subject to."
Clear
To settle a trade by the seller delivering securities and the buyer delivering funds in the proper form. A trade that does not clear is said to fail. Comparison of the details of a transaction between broker/dealers prior to settlement; final exchange of securities for cash on delivery.
Clear a position
To eliminate a long or short position, leaving no ownership or obligation.
Clear title
Title to ownership that is untainted by any claims on the property or disputed interests, and therefore available for sale. This is usually checked through a title search by a title company.
Clearing corporations
Organizations that are affiliated with exchanges and are used to complete securities transactions by taking care of validation, delivery, and settlement.
Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS)
A computerized clearing system for sterling funds that began operations in 1984. It includes 14 member banks, nearly 450 participating banks, and is one of the clearing companies within the structure of the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS).
Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS)
CHESS is the automatic transfer and settlement system for the majority of Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed securities.
Clearing house funds
Funds from the Federal Reserve System, requiring three days to clear, that are passed to and from banks.
Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS)
An international wire transfer system for high-value payments operated by a group of major banks.
Clearinghouse
An adjunct to a futures exchange through which transactions executed on its floor where trades are settled by a process of matching purchases and sales. A clearing organization is also charged with the proper conduct of delivery procedures and the adequate financing of the entire operation.
Clearing member
A member firm of a clearing house. Each clearing member must also be a member of the exchange. Not all members of the exchange, however, are members of the clearing organization. All trades of a non-clearing member must be registered with, and eventually settled through, a clearing member.
Clearing Member Trade Agreement (CMTA)
An agreement that allows a client to execute derivative trades through different brokers yet consolidate positions for clearing purposes at one brokerage firm.
Clientele effect
Describes the tendency of funds or investments to be followed by groups of investors who have similar preferences for a firm which follows a particular financing policy, such as the amount of leverage it uses.
Clone fund
A new fund set up in a fund family to emulate another successful fund.
Close
The close is the period at the end of the trading session. Sometimes used to refer to closing price. Related: Opening.
Close a position
In the context of general equities, eliminate an investment from one's portfolio, by either selling a long position or covering a short position.
Close-end credit
An agreement in which advanced credit plus any finance charges are expected to be repaid in full over a definite time. Most real estate and automobile loans are closed-end agreements.
Close market
An market in which there is a narrow spread between bid and offer prices, due to a high volume of trading and many competing market makers.
Closed corporation
A corporation whose shares are owned by just a few people, having no public market.
Closed-end fund
An investment company that issues shares like any other corporation and usually does not redeem its shares. A publicly traded fund sold on stock exchanges or over the counter that may trade above or below its net asset value. Related: Open-end fund.
Closed-end management company
An investment company that has only a set number of shares of the mutual fund that it manages, and does not create new shares if demand increases. Antithesis of an open-end management company.
Closed-end mortgage
Mortgage against which no additional debt may be issued.
Closed fund
A mutual fund that is no longer issuing shares, mainly because it has grown too large.
Closed out
Position that is liquidated when the client does not meet a margin call or cover a short sale.
Closely held
A corporation whose voting stock is owned by only a few shareholders.
Closely held company
A company who has a small group of controlling shareholders. In contrast, a widely-held firm has many shareholders. It is difficult or impossible to wage a proxy battle for any closely-held firm.
Closing costs
All the expenses involved in transferring ownership of real estate.
Closing price
Price of the last transaction of a particular stock completed during a day's trading session on an exchange.
Closing purchase
A transaction in which the purchaser's intention is to reduce or eliminate a short position in a stock, or in a given series of options.
Closing quote
The last bid and offer prices of a particular stock at the close of a day's trading session on an exchange.
Closing range
Also known as the range. The high and low prices, or bids and offers, recorded during the period designated as the official close. Related: Settlement price.
Closing sale
A transaction in which the seller's intention is to reduce or eliminate a long position in a stock, or a given series of options.
Closing tick
The net of the number of stocks whose closing prices are higher than their previous trades (uptick) against the number of stocks whose closing prices were lower than their previous trades (downtick). A positive closing tick indicates "buying at the close", or a bullish market; a negative closing tick indicates "selling at the close," or a bearish market. See: TRIN.
Closing transaction
Applies to derivative products. Buy or sell transaction that eliminates an existing position (selling a long option or buying back a short option). Antithesis of opening transaction.
Closing TRIN
See: TRIN
Cloud on title
Any claim or encumbrance, usually discovered in a title search, that may impair the title to a property, and make its validity questionable. See: bad title.
Club
A group of underwriters who do not need to proceed to form a syndicate.
Cluster analysis
A statistical technique that identifies clusters of stocks whose returns are highly correlated within each cluster and relatively uncorrelated across clusters. Cluster analysis has identified groupings such as growth, cyclical, stable, and energy stocks.
CMO REIT
A very risky type of Real Estate Investment Trust investing in the residual cash flows of Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMOs). CMO cash flows are derived from the difference between the rates paid by the mortgage loan holders and the lower, shorter-term rates paid to CMO investors.
Co-financing
A type of financing in which the different lenders agree to fund under the same documentation and security packages but may have different interest rates, repayment profiles, and terms.
Co-manager
A second-tier Participant, ranked by size of participation.
Co-agent
An institution appointed by the issuer as co-transfer agent accepts and transfers certificates and sends daily activity journals to the primary record-keeping agent. A co-agent does not maintain security holder records, but is used to facilitate the transfer of stock in a geographic region not easily accessible to the issuer or its principal transfer agent.
Coattail investing
A risky trading practice of making trades similar to those of other successful investors, usually institutional investors.
COD transaction
See: Delivery versus payment
Code of procedure
The guide of the National Association of Securities Dealers used to adjudicate complaints filed against NASD members.
Coefficient of determination
A measure of the goodness of fit of the relationship between the dependent and independent variables in a regression analysis; for instance, the percentage of variation in the return of an asset explained by the market portfolio return. Also known as R-square.
Coefficient of Variation
A measure of investment risk that defines risk as the standard deviation per unit of expected return.
Coface
The French Export Credit Agency.
Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange (CS&CE)
The historic New York-based commodity exchange trading futures and options. In June 2004, the CS&CE merged with the New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE) to form the New York Board of Trade. As a result of this merger, all previous exchanges and subsidiaries ceased to exist, including the Coffee, Sugar, & Cocoa Exchange, the New York Cotton Exchange, the Citrus Associates of the New York Cotton Exchange, the New York Futures Exchange (NYFE), and the FINEX Exchange. All markets are now referred to as the New York Board of Trade or NYBOT.
Cofinancing agreements
Joint participation of the World Bank and other agencies or lenders in providing funds to developing countries.
Coherent Market Hypothesis
A hypothesis that the probability density function of the market may be determined by a combination of group sentiment and fundamental bias. Depending on combinations of these two factors, the market can be in one of four states: random walk, unstable transition, chaos, or coherence.
Coincident indicators
Economic indicators that give an indication of the current status of the economy.
Coinsurance effect
Refers to the fact that the merger of two firms lessens the probability of default on either firm's debt.
Cold-calling
Calling potential new customers in the hope of selling stocks, bonds or other financial products and receiving commissions.
Collar
Refers to the ceiling and floor of the price fluctuation of an underlying asset. A collar is usually set up with options, swaps, or by other agreements. In corporate finance, the collar strategy of buying puts and selling calls is often used to mitigate the risk of a concentrated position in (sometimes) restricted stock. When the restricted owner can't sell the stock, but needs to diversify the risk, a collar transaction is one of the few tools available. Many corporate executives who receive chunks of their compensation in restricted stock need to employ this strategy to mitigate the diversification risk in their overall portfolio.
Collateral
In the context of project financing, additional security pledged to support the project financing.
Collateral trust bonds
A bond in which the issuer (often a holding company) grants investors a lien on stocks, notes, bonds, or other financial asset as security. Compare mortgage bond.
Collateralized Bond Obligation (CBO)
Investment-grade bonds backed by a collection of junk bonds with different levels of risk, called tiers, that are determined by the quality of junk bond involved. CBOs backed by highly risky junk bonds receive higher interest rates than other CBOs.
Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO)
A general inclusive term which covers Collateralized Bond Obligations, Collateralized Loan Obligations, and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations,
Collateralized loan obligation (CLO)
A security backed by a pool of commercial or personal loans , structured so that there are several classes of bondholders with varying maturities, called tranches. Similar in structure to Collateralized Mortgage Obligations.
Collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO)
A security backed by a pool of pass-through rates, structured so that there are several classes of bondholders with varying maturities, called tranches. The principal payments from the underlying pool of pass-through securities are used to retire the bonds on a priority basis as specified in the prospectus. Related: mortgage pass-through security.
Collecting Bank
A bank that assists in obtaining payment in accordance with draft payment terms.
Collection
The presentation of a negotiable instrument for payment, or the conversion of any accounts receivable into cash.
Collection float
The period between the time is a check is deposited in an account and the time funds are made available.
Collection fractions
The percentage of a given month's sales collected during the month of sale and each month following the month of sale.
Collection period
See: Collection ratio
Collection policy
Procedures a firm follows in attempting to collect accounts receivables.
Collection ratio
The ratio of a company's accounts receivable to its average daily sales, which gives the average number of days it takes the company to convert receivables into cash.
Collective Action Clause (CAC)
CAC allows bondholders to agree on debt restructuring even when some bondholders are against restructuring as long as majority agrees.
Collective wisdom
The combination of all the individual opinions about a stock's or security's value.
Colombo Stock Exchange
Established in 1984, the only public stock exchange of Sri Lanka.
COLT (Continuous on-line trading system)
Computerized OTC traders assistance system that provides for trade entry and position monitoring, among other functions.
Comanager
A bank that ranks just below a lead manager in a syndicated Eurocredit or international bond issue. Comanagers may assist the lead manager bank in the pricing and issue of the instrument.
Combination
Applies to derivative products. Arrangement of options involving two long or two short positions with different expiration dates or strike (exercise) prices. See: Straddle.
Combination annuity
See: Hybrid annuity
Combination bond
A bond backed by the government unit issuing it as well as by revenue from the project that is to be financed by the bond.
Combination order
See: Alternative order
Combination matching
Also called horizon-matching, a variation of multiperiod immunization and cash flow-matching in which a portfolio is created that is always duration-matched and also cash-matched in the first few years.
Combination strategy
A strategy in which a put and call with different strike prices and the same expiration are either both bought or both sold. Related: Straddle
Combined financial statement
A financial statement that merges the assets, liabilities, net worth, and operating figures of two or more affiliated companies. A combined statement is distinguished from a consolidated financial statement of a company and subsidiaries, which must reconcile investment and capital accounts.
Come in
In the context of general equities, a fall in price.
Come out of the trade
In the context of general equities, trader's position in a security that results from executing a trade (or the expectations thereof). Antithesis of going into the trade.
Comeout
In the context of general equities, the opening. Antithesis of the close.ublic utilities, service, and industrial companies. Does not include loans secured by real estate.
Comfort letter
A letter from an independent auditor included in a preliminary prospectus stating that, while a full audit has not been undertaken, the auditor has done a 'review' sufficient to assure that financial statement information in the preliminary prospectus is correctly prepared to the best of the auditor's knowledge. The auditor in effect states that, had a full audit been done, they are comfortable that the audited financial statements would not be materially different from the ones presented in the preliminary prospectus.
Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV)
Spain's supervisory authority for the Spanish financial markets. Spain's financial regulator.
Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM)
Portugal's supervisory authority for the Portugese financial markets. Portugal's financial regulator.
Commercial and Industrial Loans (C&I)
Loans made to corporations and other business enterprises (not to individuals) for commercial or industrial purposes. Non-financial issuers include p
Commercial and Industrial Loan (C&I Loan)
Loan made to a business or corporation and not to an individual. This type of loan is usually short-term floating loan and is almost always backed with a collateral.
Commercial bank
Bank that offers a broad range of deposit accounts, including checking, savings and time deposits and extends loans to individuals and business. Commercial banks can be contrasted with investment banking firms, such as brokerage firms, which generally are involved in arranging for the sale of corporate or municipal securities.
Commercial draft
Demand for payment.
Commercial Futures Trading Commission
Independent federal agency that regulates trading in futures and options.
Commercial hedgers
Companies that take futures positions in commodities so that they can guarantee prices at which they will buy raw materials or sell their products.
Commercial invoice
Bill for merchandise sold.
Commercial letters of credit
Trade-related agreement that a certain amount of bank funds is available to an entity.
Commercial loan
A short-term loan, typically 90 days, used by a company to finance seasonal working capital needs.
Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities
Similar to MBS but backed by loans secured with commercial rather than residential property. Commercial property includes multi-family, retail, office, etc., They are not standardized so there are a lot of details associated with structure, credit enhancement, diversification, etc., that need to be understood when valuing these instruments.
Commercial paper
Short-term promissory notes either unsecured or backed by assets such as loans or mortgages issued by a corporation. The maturity of commercial paper is typically less than 270 days; the most common maturity range is 30 to 50 days or less. They are usually sold, like Treasury bills, at a discount.
Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF)
In 2008, the Federal Reserve offered to purchase highly rated, three-month commercial paper in response to difficulty companies had raising money in the commercial paper market. The goals were to persuade investors to lend to top-tier companies and give borrowers a backstop if funds can’t be obtained in the open market. The CPFF began operations on Oct. 27, 2008, and closed on Feb. 1, 2010.
Commercial property
Real estate that produces some sort of income-producing property.
Commercial real estate loans
Loans secured with commercial rather than residential property.
Commercial risk
The risk that a debtor will be unable to pay its debts because of business events, such as bankruptcy.
Commingling
In the context of securities, this involves mixing customer-owned securities with brokerage firm-owned securities. This process is referred to as rehypothecation, which is the use of customers' collateral to secure their loans. This is legal with customer consent, although some securities and collateral must be kept separately.
Commission
The fee paid to a broker to execute a trade, based on number of shares, bonds, options, and/or their dollar value. In 1975, deregulation led to the establishment of discount brokers, who charge lower commissions than full service brokers. Full service brokers offer advice and usually have a staff of analysts who follow specific industries. Discount brokers simply execute a client's order and usually do not offer an opinion on a stock. Also known as a round-turn. Commissions are known as round-turn only in futures trading, since the commission is assessed only after liquidation of the position.
Commission Bancaire, Financiere et des Assurances (CBFA)
Belgium's supervisory authority for the Belgian financial markets. Belgium's financial regulator.
Commission broker
A broker on the floor of an exchange who acts as agent for a particular brokerage house and buys and sells stocks for the brokerage house on a commission basis.
Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF)
Luxembourg's supervisory authority for the Luxembourg financial markets. Luxembourg's financial regulator.
Commission house
A firm that buys and sells futures contracts for customer accounts. Related: futures commission merchant, omnibus account.
Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB)
Italy's supervisory authority for the Italian financial markets. Italian financial regulator.
Commission-only compensation
Payment to a financial advisers of only commissions on investments purchased when the client implements the recommended financial plan.
Commitment
Describes a trader's obligation to accept or make delivery on a futures contract. Related: Open interest.
Committee of European Banking Supervisors
The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) gives advice to the European Commission on policy and regulatory issues related to banking supervision. CEBS is composed of high level representatives from the banking supervisory authorities and central banks of the European Union.
Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP)
Committee that assigns identifying numbers and codes for all securities. These "CUSIP" numbers and symbols are used when recording all buy or sell orders.
Commodities Exchange Center (CEC)
The location of five New York futures exchanges: Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX); the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX); New York Cotton Exchange, Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange (CS&CE), and New York Futures Exchange (NYFE).
Commodity
A commodity is food, metal, or another fixed physical substance that investors buy or sell, usually via futures contracts.
Commodity-backed bond
A bond with interest payments tied to the price of an underlying commodity.
Commodity Bundle
One unit of the collection of the complete set of goods produced and sold in the world market.
Commodity Channel Index
An index used in technical analysis. High values mean a potential future correction (downward movement in underlying asset) and low values potentially forecast a rally. Details in Donald Lambert's October 1980 article in Commodities Magazine.
Commodity futures contract
An agreement to buy a specific amount of a commodity at a specified price on a particular date in the future, allowing a producer to guarantee the price of a product or raw material used in production.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
An agency created by the US Congress in 1974 to regulate exchange trading in futures.
Commodity indices
Indices measuring the price and performance of physical commodities, often by the price of futures contracts for the commodities that are listed on commodity exchanges.
Commodity paper
A loan or advance secured by commodities.
Commodity Research Bureau
Produces a popular price index of 17 commodities which is often used to track inflationary trends in the economy.
Commodity Trading Advisor
An investment manager that focuses on long and short trading in the futures markets. The trades are often intraday trades. Sometimes referred to as Managed Futures.
Common-base-year analysis
The representing of accounting information over multiple years as percentages of amounts in an initial year.
Common code
A nine-digit identification code issued jointly by CEDEL and Euroclear. As of January 1991 common codes replaced the earlier separate CEDEL and Euroclear codes.
Common factor
An element of return that influences many assets. According to multiple factor risk models, the factors determine correlations between asset returns. Common factors include size (often measured by market capitalization), valuation measures such as price to book value ratio and dividend yield, industries and risk indices.
Common market
An agreement between two or more countries that permits the free movement of capital and labor as well as goods and services.
Common shares
In general, a public corporation has two types of shares, common and preferred. The common shares usually entitle the shareholders to vote at shareholders meetings. The common shares have a discretionary dividend.
Common-size analysis
The representing of balance sheet items as percentages of assets and of income statement items as percentages of sales.
Common-size statement
A statement in which all items are expressed as a percentage of a base figure, useful for purposes of analyzing trends and changing relationship among financial statement items. For example, all items in each year's income statement could be presented as a percentage of net sales.
Common stock
Securities that represent equity ownership in a company. Common shares let an investor vote on such matters as the election of directors. They also give the holder a share in a company's profits via dividend payments or the capital appreciation of the security. Units of ownership of a public corporation with junior status to the claims of secured/unsecured creditors, bondholders and preferred shareholders in the event of liquidation.
Common stock equivalent
A convertible security that is traded like an equity issue because the optioned common stock is trading above the conversion price.
Common stock fund
A mutual fund investing only in common stock.
Common stock market
The market for trading equities, not including preferred stock.
Common stock/other equity
Value of outstanding common shares at par, plus accumulated retained earnings. Also called shareholders' equity.
Common stock ratios
Ratios that are designed to measure the relative claims of stockholders to earnings (cash flow per share), and equity (book value per share) of a firm.
Commonwealth Development Corp
A British development finance institute.
Comnmunity Bank
A smaller bank that is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC).Currently, there is no official definition of Community Bank, i.e. in terms of asset size.
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Enacted by Congress in 1977, the CRA encourages banks to help meet the credit needs of their communities for housing and other purposes, particularly in neighborhoods with low or moderate incomes, while maintaining safe and sound operations.
Companion bonds
A class of a Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO) whose principal is paid off first when the underlying mortgages are prepaid due to falling interest rates. When interest rates rise, there will be lower prepayments of the principal; companion bonds therefore absorb most of the prepayment risk of a CMO.
Company
A proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other form of enterprise that engages in business.
Company doctor
An executive, usually appointed from outside, brought in to turn a company around and make it profitable.
Company-specific risk
Related: Unsystematic risk
Comparative advantage
Theory suggesting that specialization by countries can increase worldwide production.
Comparative credit analysis
Comparing a firm to others that have a desired target debt rating in order to deduce an appropriate financial ratio target.
Comparative statements
Financial statements for different periods, that allow the comparison of figures to illustrate trends in a company's performance.
Comparison
Short for "comparison ticket," a memorandum between two brokers that confirms the details of a transaction to be carried out.
Comparison universe
A group of money managers of similar investment style used to assess relative performance of a portfolio manager.
Compensation trade
The form of countertrade in which an incoming investment is repaid from the revenues generated by that investment.
Compensating balance
An excess balance that is left in a bank to provide indirect compensation for loans extended or services provided.
Compensation
Arrangement under which the delivery of goods to a party is paid for by buying back a certain amount of the product from the recipient of the goods.
Compensatory Financing Facility (CFF)
Entity that attempts to reduce the impact of export instability on country economies.
Competence
Sufficient ability or fitness for one's needs. The necessary abilities to be qualified to achieve a certain goal or complete a project.
Competition
Intra- or intermarket rivalry between or among businesses trying to obtain a larger piece of the same market share.
Competition ahead
Often used in risk arbitrage. Situation whereby another OTC market maker has transacted with investment bank at the stated market level before the bid/offer has been made.
Competitive bidders
One of two categories of bidders on Treasury securities: competitive and noncompetitive. Competitive bidders are usually financial institutions.
Competitive bidding
A securities offering process in which securities firms submit competing bids to the issuer for the securities the issuer wishes to sell.
Competitive offering
An offering of securities through competitive bidding.
Complementary Financing
A type of financing in which different lenders agree to fund under similar yet parallel documentation and a pro rata security package.
Complete
In the context of general equities, to fill an order.
Complete capital market
A market in which there is a distinctive marketable security for each and every possible outcome.
Complete portfolio
The entire portfolio, including risky and risk-free assets.
Completion
In the context of project financing, occurs after a Completion Test, when the project's cash flows become the primary method of repayment. Prior to completion, the primary source of repayment is usually from the sponsors or from the turnkey contractor.
Completion bonding
Insurance that a construction contract will be completed successfully.
Completion risk
The risk that a project will not be brought into operation successfully or be able to pass its completion test.
Completion test
A test of the project's ability to perform as planned and generate the expected cash flows. After the completion test, the project can move from recourse to project financing.
Completion undertaking
An undertaking either (1) to complete a project so that it meets certain specified performance criteria on or before a certain specified date, or (2) to repay project debt if the completion test cannot be met.
Complex system
A system that cannot be fully understood simply by understanding the function of each component part.
Complexity Theory
The theory that processes with a large number of seemingly independent agents can spontaneously organize themselves into a coherent system.
Compliance department
A department in all organized stock exchanges to ensure that all companies, traders, and brokerage firms comply with Securities and Exchange Commission and exchange rules and regulations.
Composite depreciation
Method of depreciation where a single average depreciation rate is applied to a group of dissimilar assets with different service lives. See also Group depreciation.
Composite tape
See: Tape
Composition
Voluntary arrangement to restructure a firm's debt, under which payment is reduced.
Compound Annual Growth Rate
Annual return calculated based on each year's previous balances where each previous balance includes both the original principal and all interest accrued from prior years. Best defined by example. If you invest $100 today and make 5% in the first year and reinvest ($105) and make 8% in the second year, the compound annual growth rate is 6.489%. The calculation is $100x1.05x1.08=$113.4 which is what you end up with at the end of year two. The average return is [square root(113.4/100) -1]= 0.06489 or 6.489%. Note 1. If we had three compounding periods we would take the cubic root (power of 1/3). Note 2. If we had invested at exactly 6.489 in both periods, we get $100x1.06489x1.06489=$113.4. Note 3. The example is directed to a return - but CAGR could be applied to earnings growth, GDP growth, etc.
Compound Annual Return
See: Compound Annual Growth Rate
Compound growth rate
See: Compound Annual Growth Rate
Compound interest
Interest paid on previously earned interest as well as on the principal.
Compound option
Option on an option.
Compounding
The process of accumulating the time value of money forward in time. For example, interest earned in one period earns additional interest during each subsequent time period.
Compounding frequency
The number of compounding periods in a year. For example, quarterly compounding has a compounding frequency of 4.
Compounding period
The length of the time period that elapses before interest compounds (a quarter in the case of quarterly compounding).
Comprehensive due diligence investigation
The investigation of a firm's business in conjunction with a securities offering to determine whether the firm's business and financial situation and its prospects are adequately disclosed in the prospectus for the offering.
Comprehensive Income
Comprehensive income is the change in equity of a business enterprise during a period from transactions and other events from non-owner sources. It includes all non-owner changes in equity (in contrast to net income which does not include some changes in equity). Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 130 (SFAS 130), Reporting Comprehensive Income. For fiscal years beginning after December 15, 1997, SFAS 130 requires the disclosure of both net income and a more 'comprehensive’ measure of income which includes four items recorded as owners’ equity under previous FASB pronouncements: adjustments to unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale marketable securities (SFAS 115), foreign currency translation adjustments (SFAS 52), minimum required pension liability adjustments (SFAS 87), and changes in the market values of certain futures contracts qualifying as hedges (SFAS 80).
Comptroller
The corporate manager responsible for the firm's accounting activities. Sometimes referred to as the contoller (which means the same thing).
Comptroller of the Currency
Short for. the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). This federal agency regulates, watches over, and charters national banks (not state banks) and also is in charge of foreign banks conducting business in the U.S. The OCC is headed by the Comptroller of the Currency who is appointed by the President.
Computerized market timing system
A computer system that compiles large amounts of trading data in search of patterns and trends to make buy and sell recommendations.
Concave
See the discussion of negative convexity.
Concentration account
A single centralized account into which funds collected at regional locations (lockboxes) are transferred.
Concentration Banks
A small number of large banks a firm contracts with to periodically collect the firm's deposit balances from a group of smaller banks.
Concentration services
Movement of cash from different lockbox locations into a single concentration account from which disbursements and investments are made.
Concession
The per-share or per-bond compensation of a selling group for participating in a corporate underwriting.
Concession agreement
An understanding between a company and the host government that specifies the rules under which the company can operate locally.
Conditional call
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Circumstances under which a company can effect an earlier call, usually stated as percentage of a stock's trading price during a particular period, such as 140% of the exercise price during a 40-day trading span.
Conditional call options
A protective guarantee that, in the event a high yield bond is called, the issuing corporation will replace the bond with a noncallable bond of the same life and terms as the bond that is being called.
Conditional sales contracts
Similar to equipment trust certificates, except that the lender is either the equipment manufacturer or a bank or finance company to which the manufacturer has sold the conditional sales contract.
Condor
Applies to derivative products. Option strategy consisting of both puts and calls at different strike prices to capitalize on a narrow range of volatility. The payoff diagram takes the shape of a bird.
Conduit bond
A conduit bond is a type of municipal bond sold by a governmental entity for the purpose of making proceeds available to a private entity usually in furtherance of a public purpose. An example would be bonds in connection with not-for-profit hospitals or affordable housing. The governmental issuer is typically not responsible in the event of default.
Conduit theory
A theory that because investment companies are merely conduits for capital gains, dividends, and interest, which are in fact passed through to shareholders, the investment company should not be taxed at the corporate level.
Confidence indicator
A measure of investors' faith in the economy and the securities market. A low or deteriorating level of confidence is considered by many technical analysts as a bearish sign.
Confidence letter
Statement by an investment bank that it is highly confident that the financing for its client/acquirer's takeover can and will be obtained. Often used in risk arbitrage.
Confidence level
In risk analysis, the degree of assurance that a specified failure rate is not exceeded.
"Confirm me out"
Used for listed equity securities. "Go to the floor and check with the specialist or floor broker that my previously active order has been canceled and was not executed". One does not have to honor any trade reported after being given a "firm out".
Confirmation
The written statement that follows any "trade" in the securities markets. Confirmation is issued immediately after a trade is executed. It spells out settlement date, terms, commission, etc.
Confirmed Letter of Credit
A letter of credit which a bank other than the bank that opened it agrees to honor as though they had themselves issued it. This additional confirmation is in addition to the obligation of the bank which issued the letter of credit.
Confirming Bank
The bank which has confirmed a letter of credit opened by another bank.
Conflict between bondholders and stockholders
Bondholders and stockholders may have interests in a corporation that conflict. Sources of conflict include dividends, distortion of investment, and underinvestment. Protective covenants in bond documents work to resolve these conflicts.
Conforming loans
Mortgage loans that meet the qualifications of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, which are bought from lenders and issued as pass-through securities.
Conglomerate
A firm engaged in two or more unrelated businesses.
Conglomerate merger
A merger involving two or more firms that are in unrelated businesses.
Consensus forecast
The mean of all financial analysts' forecasts for a company.
Conservator
An entity given legal responsibility for overseeing, protecting, or preserving the interests and affairs of another entity deemed incapable often doing so. See: Bailout, Conservatorship
Conservatorship
An enentity either set up by the government or by court order that takes control of an organization that is unable to function on its own (due to legal or financial distress). See: Convservator
Consignee
The party named in the bill of lading to whom delivery is promised and/or title is passed.
Consignment
Transfer of goods to a seller while title to the merchandise is retained by the owner.
Consol
A government bond with no maturity . Popular in Great Britain. The formula for valuing these bonds is simple. The consol payment divided by yield to maturity is the price of the bond.
Consolidated financial statement
A financial statement that shows all the assets, liabilities, and operating accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries.
Consolidated mortgage bond
A bond that covers several units of property, sometimes refinancing mortgages on the properties.
Consolidated Supervised Entities (CSE) Program
A Securities and Exchange Commission program created in 2004 and terminated in 2008 that provided voluntary supervision for the five largest investment bank conglomerates.
Consolidated tape
Used for listed equity securities. Combined ticker tapes of the NYSE and the curb. Network A covers the NYSE-listed securities and is used to identify the originating market. Network B does the same for AMEX-listed securities and also reports on securities listed on regional stock exchanges. See: tape.
Consolidated tax return
A tax return combining the reports of affiliated companies, that are at least 80% owned by a parent company.
Consolidation
The combining of two or more firms to form an entirely new entity.
Consolidation loan
A loan that is used to combine and finance payments on other loans.
Consortium
A group of companies that cooperate and share resources in order to achieve a common objective.
Consortium banks
A merchant banking subsidiary set up by several banks that may or may not be of the same nationality. Consortium banks are common in the Euromarket and are active in loan syndication.
Constant dollar
Condition in which inflation or escalation is not applicable. Prices and costs are deescalated or reescalated to a single point in time.
Constant dollar accounting
See General Price Level Accounting.
Constant-dollar plan
Method of purchasing securities by investing a fixed amount of money at set intervals. The investor buys more shares when the price is low and fewer shares when the price is high, thus reducing the average cost.
Constant-growth model
Also called the Gordon-Shapiro model, an application of the dividend discount model that assumes (1) a fixed growth rate for future dividends, and (2) a single discount rate.
Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance
A trading strategy that sets a floor on a portfolio value by investing in a risky and a riskless asset such that if the risky asset falls to its lowest expected value, the portfolio value will be at the floor. The weights are altered as the asset values change. This limits the downside risk while maintaining a potential upside through the exposure to the risky asset. This is analogous to buying a put option on the portfolio. Also see Portfolio Insurance.
Constant ratio plan
Maintaining a predetermined ratio between stock and fixed income investments through regular adjustments of distribution of funds into different investments. See: formula investing.
Constant yield method
Allocation of annual interest on a zero-coupon security for income tax use.
Construction loan
A short-term loan to finance building costs.
Constructive receipt
The date a taxpayer receives dividends or other income, for use in the determination of taxes.
Consular Invoice
A document prepared by the shipper and certified in the country of origin by a consul of the country of importation. It shows the transaction details and origin of the goods.
Consumer Advisory Council (CAC)
A statutory body established by Congress in 1976. The Council, with 30 members who represent a broad range of consumer and creditor interests, advises the Federal Reserve Board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters on which the Board seeks its advice.
Consumer credit
Credit a firm grants to consumers for the purchase of goods or services. Also called retail credit.
Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968
Federal legislation establishing rules for the disclosure of the terms of a loan to protect borrowers. See: Truth in lending.
Consumer debenture
An investment note issued directly to the public by a financial institution.
Consumer durables
Consumer products that are expected to last three years or more, such as an automobile or a home appliance.
Consumer finance company
See: Finance company
Consumer goods
Goods not used in production but bought for personal or household use such as food, clothing, and entertainment.
Consumer interest
Interest paid on consumer loans; e.g., interest on credit cards and retail purchases.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services and is a measure of the pace of US inflation. The US Department of Labor publishes the CPI every month.
Consumption tax
See: Value-added tax
Contagion
Refers to an increase in correlation of asset returns that is more than expected. Sometimes also called excess correlation. For example, during the East Asian crisis that began in July 1997 when the Thai currency devalued, many emerging markets as far away as South America became increasingly correlated. Contagion is difficult to identify because you need some sort of measure of the expected correlation. It is complicated because correlations are known to change through time, for example, see Erb, Harvey and Viskanta's article in the 1994 Financial Analysts Journal. In periods of negative returns, correlations (and volatility) are known to increase, so what might appear to be excessive correlations may not be contagion.
Contango
A market condition in which futures prices are higher in the distant delivery months.
Contingency
An additional amount or percentage added to any cash flow item (ie. Capex). Care is needed to ensure it is either to be spent or to remain as a cushion.
Contingency graph
A plot of the net profit to a speculator in currency options under various exchange rate scenarios.
Contingency order
In the context of general equities, order to buy one security, if the trader can sell another, usually given that certain price limits or conditions reach a certain level. Swap, switch order.
Contingent
In context of liabilities, those liabilities that do not yet appear on the balance sheet (ie. guarantees, supports, lawsuit settlements). For support or recourse, the trigger may occur at any time in the future.
Contingent convertible capital instruments (Cocos)
Capital instruments that act as bonds but convert to equity if the issuing bank comes under extreme stress, such as core capital ratio falling below a predetermined level.
Contingent claim
A claim that can be made only if one or more specified outcomes occur.
Contingent conversion trigger
Used in the context of convertible instruments. The price of the stock must exceed the trigger price before the bond holder can convert to common stock at a pre-established conversion price. The trigger price exceeds the conversion price. In addition, after a certain number of years, the convertible instrument usually specifies that both the conversion price and the contingent conversion trigger will increase every year by, for example, a rate equal to LIBOR.
Contingent debt
.
A contingent debt is an unusual kind of debt that is dependent on uncertain future developments. A contigent debt is not a definitive liability as it is based on the outcome of a future event (for example, such as a court verdict).
Contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC)
The formal name for the load of a back-end load fund.
Contingent immunization
An arrangement in which the money manager pursues an active bond portfolio strategy until an adverse investment experience drives the then-available potential return down to the safety net level. When that point is reached, the money manager is obligated to pursue an immunization strategy to lock in the safety-net level return.
Contingent order
An order which can be executed only if another event occurs; i.e. "sell Oct 45 call 7-1/4 with stock 52 or lower".
Contingent pension liability
Under ERISA, a firm is liable to its pension plan participants for up to 39% of the net worth of the firm.
Contingent Voting Power
Enables preferred stockholders to vote when the company fails to satisfy the agreement between itself and the preferred stockholders.
Continuous compounding
The process of accumulating the time value of money forward in time on a continuous, or instantaneous, basis. Interest is earned constantly, and at each instant, the interest that accrues immediately begins earning interest on itself.
Continuous net settlement (CNS)
Method of securities clearing and settlement using a clearing house, which matches transactions to securities available, resulting in one net receive or deliver position at the end of the day.
Continuous random variable
A random value that can take any fractional value within specified ranges, as contrasted with a discrete variable.
Contra broker
The broker on the buy side of a sell order or the sell side of a buy order.
Contract
A term of reference describing a unit of trading for a financial or commodity future. Also, the actual bilateral agreement between the buyer and seller of a transaction as defined by an exchange.
Contract for Difference
Also known as CFD. This is an agreement between buyer and seller to exchange the difference between the current value of the asset and the initial value of the asset when the contract is initiated. For example, suppose the initial price of share XYZ is $100 and a CFD for 1000 shares is exchanged. Both the buyer and seller must post some margin. If the price goes to $105, then the buyer gets $5,000 from the seller. If the price goes to $95, the buyer pays the seller $5,000. This contract avoids ownership of the stock and all the associated transactions issues (like stamp taxes). The contract also allows for leverage (typically 10:1) because the margin that must be posted is only a fraction of the value of the underlying asset. These contracts can also be on the difference of two assets' prices. They can also be on the difference of a single asset of different maturities (like a bond or futures contracts). CFDs are sometimes known as spread trading.
Contract month
The month in which futures contracts may be satisfied by making or accepting a delivery.
Contractual Claim
An amount that by legal agreement must be paid periodically to the buyer of a security; contractual claim may also specify the time at which the principal must be repaid and other details.
Contractual Intermediary
Holder of an indirect claim through a legal agreement that specifies that the individual must make periodic, fixed payments to the intermediary in exchange for the right to receive payments from the intermediary in the future.
Contractual plan
A plan in which fixed dollar amounts of mutual fund shares are purchased through periodic investments, usually featuring some sort of additional incentive for the fixed period payments.
Contramarket stock
In the context of general equities, stock that tends to go against the trend of the market as a whole, such as a commodities-related stock or one in an industry out of favor with investors in a bull market.
Contrarian
An investment style that leads one to buy assets that have performed poorly and sell assets that have performed well. There are two possible reasons this strategy might work. The first is a mean-reversion argument; that is, if the asset has deviated from its usual level, it should eventually return to that usual level. The second reason has to do with overreaction. Investors might have overreacted to bad news sending the asset price lower than it should be.
Contrarian investing
Ignoring market trends by buying securities that the investor considers undervalued and out of favor with other investors.
Contributed capital
See: Paid-in capital
Contributed surplus
Total assets minus the sum of total liabilities, the par value of issued stock, and retained earnings. Contributed surplus identifies the portion of a company's income that comes from non-operational sources, or the portion of total profit other than profit earned through operations.  One example of contributed surplus is the income a company receives from selling shares above their stated par value. See: Retained earnings, Capital surplus
Contribution
Money placed in an individual retirement account (IRA), an employer-sponsored retirement plan, or other retirement plan for a particular tax year. Contributions may be deductible or nondeductible, depending on the type of account.
Contribution margin
The difference between variable revenue and variable cost.
Control
50% of the outstanding votes plus one vote.
Control Limits
The upper and lower limits on the acceptable level of cash that minimizes the sum of the opportunity cost of excessive cash and the cost of marketable security transactions.
Control parameters
In a nonlinear dynamic system, the coefficient of the order parameter; the determinant of the influence of the order parameter on the total system. See: Order Parameter.
Control person
See: Affiliated person
Control-share Acquisition Laws
See Supermajority.
Control stock
The shares owned by the controlling shareholders of a corporation. Sometimes refers to stock that has voting rights rather than stock that carries no voting rights. In a situation where all stock has voting rights, it sometimes refers to the shareholdings of one investors or a group of investors that effectively control the firm.
Controlled commodities
Commodities regulated by the Commodities Exchange Act of 1936 in order to prevent fraud and manipulation in commodities futures markets.
Controlled disbursement
A service that provides for a single presentation of checks each day (typically in the early part of the day).
Controlled foreign corporation (CFC)
A foreign corporation whose voting stock is more than 50% owned by US stockholders, each of whom owns at least 10% of the voting power.
Controller
The corporate manager responsible for the firm's accounting activities. Sometimes referred to as the comptroller (which means the same thing).
Convenience yield
The extra advantage that firms derive from holding the commodity rather than a futures position.
Convention statement
An annual statement filed by a life insurance company in each state where it does business in compliance with that state's regulations. The statement and supporting documents show, among other things, the assets, liabilities, and surplus of the reporting company.
Conventional mortgage
A loan based on the credit of the borrower and on the collateral for the mortgage.
Conventional option
An option contract arranged on the trading floor and traded regularly. The opposite of exotic option.
Conventional pass-throughs
Also called private-label pass-throughs, any mortgage pass-through security not guaranteed by government agencies. Compare agency pass-throughs.
Conventional project
A project with a negative initial cash flow (cash outflow), which is expected to be followed by one or more future positive cash flows (cash inflows).
Convertible
A financial instrument that can be exchanged for another security or equity interest at a pre-agreed time and exchange ratio.
Convertible Arbitrage
In the context of hedge funds, a style of management that involves the simultaneous purchase of a convertible bond and the short sale of shares of the underlying stock. Interest rate risk may or may not be hedged.
Convergence
The movement of the price of a futures contract toward the price of the underlying cash commodity. At the start, the contract price is usually higher because of time value. But as the contract nears expiration, and time value decreases, the futures price and the cash price converge. More generally, convergence trading involves taking two related assets that have different prices with the expectation that prices will converge (the cheaper asset is purchased and the more expensive is sold short).
Conversion
In the context of securities, refers to the exchange of a convertible security such as a bond into stock.

In the context of mutual funds, refers to the free exchange of mutual fund shares from one fund to another in a single family.

Conversion factors
Rules set by the Chicago Board of Trade for determining the invoice price of each acceptable deliverable Treasury issue against the Treasury Bond futures contract.
Conversion feature
Specification of the right to transform a particular investment to another form of investment, such as switching between mutual funds or converting preferred stock or bonds to common stock.
Conversion parity
See: Market conversion price
Conversion parity price
Related: Market conversion price
Conversion parity/value
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Common stock price at which a convertible bond can become exchangeable for common shares of equal value; value of a convertible bond based solely on the market value of the underlying equity. Par value plus conversion ratio. See bond value, investment value, parity.
Conversion Period
The time period during which an investor can exchange a convertible security for common stock.
Conversion premium
The extent by which the conversion price of a convertible security exceeds the prevailing common stock price at the time the convertible security is issued. In general usage, the conversion premium is the amount by which the convertible security trades above its conversted value. For example, if a $1,000 par bond is trading at $1,100, it is convertible into 50 shares, and the shares are trading at $21, the converted value is 50 X 20.50 = $1,025, and the conversion premium is $75.
Conversion price
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Dollar value at which convertible bonds, debentures, or preferred stock can be converted into common stock, as specified when the convertible is issued.
Conversion ratio
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Relationship that determines how many shares of common stock will be received in exchange for each convertible bond or preferred stock when a conversion takes place. It is determined at the time of issue and is expressed either as a ratio or as a conversion price from which the ratio can be figured by dividing the par value of the convertible by the conversion price.
Conversion value
The value of a convertible security if it is converted immediately. Also called parity value or converted value.
Converted put
See Synthetic Put.
Convertibility
The ability to exchange a currency without government restrictions or controls.
Convertible adjustable preferred stock (Caps)
The interest rate on caps is adjustable and is pegged to Treasury security rates. They can be exchanged at par value for common stock or cash after the next period's dividend rates are revealed.
Convertible arbitrage
A practice, usually of buying a convertible bond and shorting a percentage of the equivalent underlying common shares, to create a positive cash flow position (with expected returns above the riskless rate) in a static environment and benefit from capital appreciation should the convertible's premium rise. This form of investing is far from riskless and requires constant monitoring. See: Chinese hedge and setup
Convertible bond
General debt obligation of a corporation that can be exchanged for a set number of common shares of the issuing corporation at a prestated conversion price.
Convertible eurobond
A eurobond that can be converted into another asset, often through exercise of attached warrants.
Convertible exchangeable preferred stock
Convertible preferred stock that may be exchanged, at the issuer's option, into convertible bonds that have the same conversion features as the convertible preferred stock.
Convertible 100
Goldman Sachs index of the 100 convertibles of greatest institutional importance. Weighted by issue size, it measures the performance of its components against that of their underlying common stock and against other broad market indexes as well.
Convertible preferred stock
Preferred stock that can be converted into common stock at the option of the holder. See also: participating convertible preferred stock.
Convertible price
The contractually specified price per share at which a convertible security can be converted into shares of common stock.
Convertible security
A security that can be converted into common stock at the option of the securityholder; includes convertible bonds and convertible preferred stock.
Convex
Refers to a non-linear asset pricing relationship. See convexity.
Convexity
This concept is best described with respect to a bond. Consider a graph of the bonds price (y-axis) and the bond yield (x-axis). If this graph was a straight line (downward sloping), there would be no convexity. It would be a simple linear relationship between bond price and yield (yield up, price down). However, bonds are non-linear functions of yields partly because irrespective of their how high their yield is, they cannot have negative price. Hence, the bond price is not a straight line, but a curve that is upward (like a bowl). So, if rates increase, the simple linear straightline will tell you (incorrectly) that the bond price drops too much). Essentially, the convexity is the second derivative whereas the linear relationship is the first-derivative (of bond price with respect to yield). If the asset price drops less than predicted by the linear relationship, it is known to have positive convexity (commonly referred in the bond market simply as ‘convexity’). However, if the asset price drops by more than predicted by the linear relationship, it is known to have negative convexity (rather than the common usage in mathematics of concavity). Convexity is also associated with options which (by definition) have non-linear payoffs.
Cook the books
To deliberately falsify the financial statements of a company. This is an illegal practice.
Cooling-off period
The period of time between the filing of a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the actual public offering of the securities.
Cooperative
An organization owned by its members. Examples are agriculture cooperatives that assist farmers in selling their products more efficiently and apartment buildings owned by the residents who have full control of the property.
Copenhagen Stock Exchange
The only securities exchange in Denmark. It features electronic trading of stocks, bonds, futures, and options.
Core capital
The capital required of a thrift institution, which must be at least 2% of assets to meet the rules of the Federal Home Loan Bank.
Core competence
Primary area of expertise. Narrowly defined fields or tasks at which a company or business excels. Primary areas of specialty.
Core inflation
Core inflation for the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index or the Personal Consumption Expenditure Deflator removes the volatile food and energy prices. The Headline inflation includes these components.
Cornering the market
Purchasing a security or commodity in such volume as to achieve control over its price. An illegal practice.
C Corporation
A corporation that elects to be taxed as a corporation. The C corporation pays federal and state income taxes on earnings. When the earnings are distributed to the shareholders as dividends, this income is subject to another round of taxation (shareholder's income). Essentially, the C corporations' earnings are taxed twice. In contrast, the S corporation's earnings are taxed only once.
Corporate acquisition
The acquisition of one firm by another firm.
Corporate bonds
Debt obligations issued by corporations.
Corporate charter
A legal document creating a corporation.
Corporate equivalent yield
A comparison of the after-tax yield of government bonds selling at a discount and corporate bonds selling at par.
Corporate finance
One of the three areas of the discipline of finance. It deals with the operation of the firm (both the investment decision and the financing decision) from the firm's point of view.
Corporate financial management
The application of financial principles within a corporation to create and maintain value through decision-making and proper resource management.
Corporate financial planning
Financial planning conducted by a firm that encompasses preparation of both long-and short-term financial plans.
Corporate financing committee
A committee of the NASD that reviews underwriters' SEC-required documents to ensure that proposed markups are fair and in the public interest.
Corporate income fund (CIF)
A unit investment trust featuring a fixed portfolio of high-grade securities and other investments, usually with monthly distribution of income.
Corporate processing float
The time that elapses between receipt of payment from a customer and the deposit of the customer's check in the firm's bank account; the time required to process customer payments.
Corporate repurchase
Active buying by a corporation of its own stock in the marketplace. Reasons for repurchase include putting idle cash to use, raising EPS, creating support for a stock price, increasing internal control (shark repellant), or stock for ESOP or pension plans. Repurchase is subject to rules, such as that buying must be on a zero minus or a minus tick, after the opening and before 3:30 p.m.
Corporate restructuring
See restructuring.
Corporate social responsibility
A form of corporate self-regulation where businesses monitor and ensure that their activities are aligned with the social, economic, and environmental expectations. CSR-focused businesses proactively promote the public interest and encourage community growth and development. CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision making. CSR is wide spread in Europe and has recently gained popularity in the U.S.
Corporate tax view
The argument that double (corporate and individual) taxation of equity returns makes debt a cheaper financing method.
Corporate taxable equivalent
Rate of return required on a par bond to produce the same after-tax yield to maturity that the quoted premium or discount bond would generate.
Corporate Trust
The function of servicing and maintaining records for debt securities issued by a corporation.
Corporation
A legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. A corporation is allowed to own assets, incur liabilities, and sell securities, among other things.
Corpus
See: Principal
Correction
Reverse movement, usually downward, in the price of an individual stock, bond, commodity, or index. If prices have been rising on the market as a whole, and then fall dramatically, this is known as a correction within an upward trend. Antithesis of a technical rally. See: Dip, break.
Correlation
Statistical measure of the degree to which the movements of two variables (stock/option/convertible prices or returns) are related. See: Correlation coefficient.
Correlation coefficient
A standardized statistical measure of the dependence of two random variables, defined as the covariance divided by the product of the standard deviations of two variables.
Correlation Dimension
An estimate of the Fractal Dimension which measures the probability that two points chosen at random will be within a certain distance of each other, and examines how this probability changes as the distance is increased. White noise will fill its space since its components are uncorrelated, and its correlation dimension is equal to whatever dimension it is placed in. A dependent system will be held together by its correlations and retain its dimension whatever embedding dimension it is placed in, as long as it is greater than its fractal dimension.
Correlation Integral
The probability that two points are within a certain distance from one another. Used in the calculation of the correlation dimension.
Correspondent
A financial organization that performs services (acts as an intermediary) in a market for another organization that does not have access to that market.
Correspondent bank
Bank that accepts deposits of, and performs services for, another bank (called a respondent bank); in most cases, the two banks are in different cities.
Cosigner
A term referring to a person, other than the principal borrower, who signs for a loan. The cosigner(s) assumes equal liability for the loan.
Cost
The opposite of revenue. An expense that reflects the price of purchasing goods, services and financial instruments. A cash cost means that cash is given up today to the purchase. Also, the purchase price of an investment, which is compared to the sale proceeds to determine capital gain or loss.
Cost accounting
A branch of accounting that provides information to help the management of a firm evaluate production costs and efficiency.
Cost and Freight (CFR)
Seller is responsible for the payment of freight to carry goods to a named destination, as agreed with the buyer. This should be used with ocean shipments only, as the point where risk and responsibility pass from seller to buyer is the rail of the carrying vessel.
Cost basis
The original price of an asset, used to determine capital gains.
Cost-benefit ratio
The net present value of an investment divided by the investment's initial cost. Also called the profitability index.
Cost center
Any division, department, or subsidiary of a company that has expenses but is not directly producing revenues.
Cost of capital
The required return for a capital budgeting project.
Cost of carry
Out-of-pocket costs incurred while an investor has an investment position. Examples include interest on long positions in margin account, dividend lost on short margin positions, and incidental expenses. Related: Net financing cost.
Cost-of-carry market
Applies to derivative products. Futures contracts trade in a "cost-of-carry market" where the underlying commodity can be stored, insured, and converted into the future easily and inexpensively. Arbitrageurs, because of the ease of switching from the spot commodity to futures, will keep these markets in line with prevailing interest rates.
Cost company arrangement
Arrangement whereby the shareholders of a project receive output free of charge but agree to pay all operating and financing charges of the project.
Cost of equity
The required rate of return for an investment of 100% equity.
Cost of funds
Interest rate associated with borrowing money.
Cost of goods sold
The total cost of buying raw materials, and paying for all the factors that go into producing finished goods.
Cost of lease financing
A lease's internal rate of return.
Cost of limited partner capital
The discount rate that equates the after-tax inflows with outflows for capital raised from limited partners.
Cost of living adjustments
Cost of living adjustments refer to Social Security's general benefit increases based on increases in the cost of living, measured by the Consumer Price Index
.
Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF)
Seller is responsible for the payment of freight to carry goods to a named destination, as agreed with the buyer. The seller is also responsible for providing cargo insurance at minimum coverage against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during transport. This term should be used with ocean shipments only, as the point where risk and responsibility pass from seller to buyer is the rail of the carrying vessel.
"Cost me"
Refers to over-the-counter trading. "The price I must pay to obtain the securities you wish to buy is [$]". Usually, a standard markup is then applied for resale to this buyer. Antithesis of can get.
Cost-plus contract
A contract in which the selling price is based on the total cost of production plus a fixed percentage or fixed amount.
Cost-push inflation
Inflation caused by rising prices, usually from increased raw material or labor costs that push up the costs of production. Related: Demand-pull inflation.
Cost records
The records maintained by an investor of the prices at which securities transactions are made, so that capital gains can be computed.
Cost Recovery Period
The number of years it takes to fully depreciate a capital asset. This time period is based on classification of the depreciable life of an asset.
Council of Economic Advisers
A group of economists appointed by the President of the United States to provide economic counsel and help prepare the president's budget presentation to Congress.
Countercyclical stocks
Stocks whose price tends to rise when the economy is in recession or the market is bearish, and vice versa.
Counterpart items
In the balance of payments, counterpart items are analogous to unrequited transfers in the current account. They arise through the double-entry system in balance of payments accounting and refer to adjustments in reserves owing to monetization or demonetization of gold, allocation or cancellation of SDRs, and revaluation of the various components of total reserves.
Counterparties
The parties on either side of an interest rate swap or a currency, equity or commodity swap, or to an options or futures position.
Counterparty
The other participant, including intermediaries, in a swap or contract.
Counterparty credit risk
See Counterparty risk.
Counterparty risk
The risk that the other party to an agreement will default. In an options contract, the risk to the option buyer that the option writer will not buy or sell the underlying as agreed.
Counterpurchase
Exchange of goods between two parties under two distinct contracts expressed in monetary terms.
Countertrade
See: barter
Country allocations
The percentages of a fund's net assets distributed to securities of various countries. These percentages serve as an indicator of a fund's diversification and its vulnerability to fluctuations in foreign financial markets or currency exchange rates.
Country beta
Covariance of a national economy's rate of return and the rate of return of the world economy divided by the variance of the world economy.
Country diversification
Investment of a global or international portfolio's assets in securities of various countries.
Country economic risk
Developments in a national economy that can affect the outcome of an international financial transaction.
Country financial risk
Centers around the ability of a national economy to generate enough foreign exchange to meet payments of interest and principal on its foreign debt.
Country risk
The general level of political, financial, and economic uncertainty in a country which impacts the value of the country's bonds and equities. See:Sovereign risk.
Country selection
A type of active international management that measures the contribution to performance attributable to investing in the better-performing stock markets of the world.
Coupon
The contractual interest obligation a bond or debenture issuer covenants to pay to its debtholders.
Coupon bond
A bond featuring coupons that must be presented to the issuer in order to receive interest payments.
Coupon-equivalent rate
See: Equivalent bond yield
Coupon equivalent yield
True interest cost expressed on the basis of a 365-day year.
Coupon pass
Canvassing by the desk of primary dealers to determine the inventory and maturities of their Treasury securities. The desk then decides whether to buy or sell certain issues (coupons) in order to add or withdraw reserves.
Coupon payments
A bond's interest payments.
Coupon rate
In bonds, notes, or other fixed income securities, the stated percentage rate of interest, usually paid twice a year.
Covariance
A statistical measure of the degree to which random variables move together. A positive covariance implies that one variable is above (below) its mean value when the other variable is above (below) its mean value.
Covenant
An agreed action to be undertaken (Positive) or not done (Negative). A breach of a covenant is a default.
Covenant defeasance
Covenant defeasance allows the issuer to remove the bond's covenants by placing the remaining payments with a trustee in escrow to be paid out on schedule.
Cover
The amount above UNITY of a debt service ratio.
Coverage
See: Fixed-charge coverage
Coverage initiated
Usually refers to the fact that analysts begin following a particular security. This usually happens when there is enough trading in it to warrant attention by the investment community.
Coverage ratios
Ratios used to test the adequacy of cash flows generated through earnings for purposes of meeting debt and lease obligations, including the interest coverage ratio and the fixed-charge coverage ratio.
Covered
A written option is considered to be covered if the writer also has an opposing market position on a share-for-share basis in the underlying security. That is, a short call is covered if the underlying stock is owned, and a short put is covered (for margin purposes) if the underlying stock is also short in the account. In addition, a short call is covered if the account is also long another call on the same security, with a striking price equal to or less than the striking price of the short call. A short put is covered if there is also a long put in the account with a striking price equal to or greater than the striking price of the short put.
Covered call
A short call option position in which the writer owns the number of shares of the underlying stock represented by the option contracts. Covered calls generally limit the risk the writer takes because the stock does not have to be bought at the market price, if the holder of that option decides to exercise it.
Covered call writing strategy
A strategy that involves writing a call option on securities that the investor owns. See: Covered or hedge option strategies.
Covered foreign currency loan
A loan denominated in a currency other than that of the borrower's home country, for which repayment terms are prearranged through the use of a forward currency contract.
Covered interest arbitrage
Occurs when a portfolio manager invests dollars in an instrument denominated in a foreign currency and hedges the resulting foreign exchange risk by selling the proceeds of the investment forward for dollars.
Covered Interest Rate Parity
The principle that the yields from interest-bearing foreign and domestic investments should be equal when the currency market is used to predetermine the domestic currency payoff from a foreign investment. For example, suppose interest on 90 U.K. Treasury bills is 4% but only 1% in U.S. When the U.S. investor tries to take advantage of the higher yield, they translate U.S. dollars to Sterling to buy the Treasury bill and then sell 90-days forward Sterling (so they can translate the principal and interest back to U.S. dollars). Covered Interest Parity ensures that the return to this transaction is 1%. If it was different, there would be arbritrage.
Covered or hedge option strategies
Strategies that involve a position in an option as well as a position in the underlying stock, designed so that one position will help offset any unfavorable price movement in the other, including covered call writing and protective put buying. Related: Naked strategies
Covered option
Option position that is offset by an equal and opposite position in the underlying security. Antithesis of naked option.
Covered position
Use of an option in a trading strategy in the underlying asset which is already owned.
Covered put
A put option position in which the option writer also is short the corresponding stock or has deposited, in a cash account, cash or cash equivalents equal to the exercise price of the option. This limits the option writer's risk because money or stock is already set aside. In the event that the holder of the put option decides to exercise the option, the writer's risk is more limited than it would be on an uncovered or naked put option.
Covered straddle
An option strategy in which one call and one put with the same strike price and expiration are written against 100 shares of the underlying stock. In actually, this is not a "covered" strategy because assignment on the short put would require purchase of stock on margin. This method is also known as a covered combination.
Covered straddle write
The term used to describe the strategy in which an investor owns the underlying security and also writes a straddle on that security. This is not really a covered position.
Covered writer
An investor who writes options only on stock that he or she owns, so that option premiums may be collected.
Covering
Using forward currency contracts to predetermine the domestic currency amount of an expected future foreign receipt or payment. Also, the buying back ('covering') of a short position.
CPI
A measure of inflation. See: Consumer Price Index.
Cramdown
The ability of the bankruptcy court to confirm a plan of reorganization over the objections of some classes of creditors. This often involves resetting the amount of principal that the bond holders are owed. Related is a mortgage cramdown. Here the home owner cannot pay the mortgage because of financial distress and, indeed, the mortgage could be a higher value than the house. A cramdown resets (lower) the principal amount of the mortgage. This may allow the homeowner to stay in the house (avoid foreclosure).
Cram-down deal
A merger in which stockholders are forced to accept undesirable terms, such as junk bonds instead of cash or equity, due to the absence of any better alternatives.
Crash
Dramatic loss in market value. The last great crash was in 1929. Some refer to October 1987 as a crash but the market return for the entire year of 1987 was positive.
Crawling peg
An automatic system for revising the exchange rate. It involves establishing a par value around which the rate can vary up to a given percent. The par value is revised regularly according to a formula determined by the authorities.
Credible signal
A signal that provides accurate information; a signal that can distinguish among senders.
Credit
Money loaned.
Credit analysis
Evaluating information on companies and bond issues in order to estimate the ability of the issuer to live up to its future contractual obligations. Related: Default risk.
Credit balance
The surplus in a cash account with a broker after purchases have been paid for, plus the extra cash from the sale of securities.
Credit bureau
An agency that researches the credit history of consumers so that creditors can make decisions about granting of loans.
Credit card
Any card, plate or coupon book that may be used repeatedly to borrow money or buy goods and services on credit.
Credit crunch
A shortage of available credit for businesses and consumers. This situation could arise when lenders are reluctant to lend because of uncertainty of defaults or are willing to lend only at high interest rates thus making it difficult for businesses and consumers to secure credit. The term became popular the financial crisis that began in 2007 when a large number of homeowners either defaulted or were expected to default on mortgages, leading to great stress on the market in which these securitized loans were traded. The ensuing constriction in liquidity caused lenders to cut back on loans resulting in a credit crunch.
Credit default swap
A credit derivative contract between two parties where the buyer makes periodic payments (over the maturity period of the CDS) to the seller in exchange for a commitment to a payoff if a third party defaults. Generally used as insurance against default on a credit asset but can also be used for speculation.
Credit derivative
Financial instruments in which the payoffs depend on the credit risk of companies or government entities, other than the counterparties to the credit derivative transaction itself.
Credit enhancement
The purchase of the financial guarantee of a large insurance company to raise funds. In the context of project financing, the issuance of a guarantee or additional collateral to reinforce the credit strength of a project financing. Also, the reduction of counterparty risk on a swap transaction through such measures as bilateral netting.
Credit history
A record of how a person has borrowed and repaid debt.
Credit insurance
Insurance against abnormal losses due to unpaid accounts receivable.
Credit linked security
A note whose cash flow depends upon a credit event or credit measure of a referenced entity or asset such as default, credit spread, or rating change. The manager would purchase such a note to hedge against possible down grades, or loan defaults that would guarantee payment into the portfolio of the manager even if moneys on referenced assets are reduced.
Credit market
Market for trading credit-related products. Most of this market involves non-exchange traded contracts, that is, over the counter trading.
Credit period
The length of time for which a firm's customer is granted credit.
Credit Policy Delay
The period between the sale of goods for a credit and the payment for those goods. This lag is determined largely by the selling firm's credit policy.
Credit Rating Agencies
Firms that compile information on and issue public credit ratings for a large number of companies.
Credit Standards
The guidelines a company follows to determine whether a credit applicant is creditworthy.
Credit Terms
The conditions under which credit will be extended to a customer. The components of credit terms are: cash discount, credit period, net period.
Credit quality
A measure of a bond issuer's ability to repay interest and principal in a timely manner. Rating agencies assign letter designations such as AAA, AA, and so forth. The lower the rating, the higher the probability of default.
Credit rating
An evaluation of an individual's or company's ability to repay obligations or its likelihood of not defaulting See: Creditworthiness.
Credit risk
The risk that an issuer of debt securities or a borrower may default on its obligations, or that the payment may not be made on a negotiable instrument. Related: Default risk.
Credit scoring
A statistical technique that combines several financial characteristics to form a single score to represent a customer's creditworthiness.
Credit spread
Applies to derivative products. Difference in the value of two options, when the value of the one sold exceeds the value of the one bought. One sells a "credit spread." Antithesis of a debit spread Related: Quality spread.
Credit union
A not-for-profit institution that is operated as a cooperative and offers financial services such as low-interest loans to its members.
Credit watch
A warning by a bond rating firm indicating that a company's credit rating may change after the current review is concluded.
Crediting rate
The interest rate offered on an investment type insurance policy.
Creditor
Lender of money.
Creditor's committee
A group representing firms that have claims on a company facing bankruptcy or extreme financial difficulty.
Credit Valuation Adjustments
Market value of counterparty credit risk. In other words, it is the difference between the true portfolio value (that takes into account the possibility of a counterparty's default) and the risk-free portfolio value.
Creditworthiness
Eligibility of an individual or firm to borrow money.
Creeping expropriation
The act of a government squeezing a project by taxes, regulation, access, or changes in law.
Creeping tender offer
The process by which a group attempting to circumvent certain provisions of the Williams Act gradually acquires shares of a target company in the open market.
CREST
CREST is CrestCo's real-time settlement system for UK and Irish shares and other corporate securities. CrestCo has provided settlement systems for government bonds and money market instruments in the UK since 1990.
Crisp Sets
The fuzzy set term for traditional set theory. That is, an object either belongs to a set, or does not.
Critical Levels
Values of control parameters where the nature of a nonlinear dynamic system changes. The system can bifurcate, or make the transition from stable to turbulent behavior. An example is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Cross
Securities transaction in which the same broker acts as agent for both sides of the trade; a legal practice only if the broker first offers the securities publicly at a price higher than the bid.
Cross-border factoring
Concluding a transaction by a network of factors across borders. The exporter's factor can contact correspondent factors in other countries to handle the collection of accounts receivable.
Cross-border risk
Describes the volatility of returns on international investments caused by events associated with a particular country as opposed to events associated solely with a particular economic or financial agent.
Cross-Collateral
An agreement among project participants to pool collateral, to allow recourse to each other's collateral.
Cross-default
A provision under which default on one debt obligation triggers default on another debt obligation.
Cross hedging
Applies to derivative products. Hedging with a futures contract that is different from the underlying being hedged. Use of a hedging instrument different from the security being hedged. Hedging instruments are usually selected to have the highest price correlation to the underlying.
Cross-holdings
The holding by one corporation of shares in another firm. One needs to allow for cross-holdings when aggregating capitalizations of firms. Ignoring cross-holdings leads to double-counting.
Cross rates
The exchange rate between two currencies expressed as the ratio of two foreign exchange rates that are both expressed in terms of a third currency. Foreign exchange rate between two currencies other than the US dollar, the currency in which most exchanges are usually quoted.
Cross-sectional analysis
Assessment of relationships among a cross-section of firms, countries, or some other variable at one particular time.
Cross-Sectional Ratio Analysis
A method of analysis that compares a firm's ratios with some chosen industry benchmark. The benchmark usually chosen is the average ratio value for all firms in an industry for the time period under study.
Cross-sectional approach
A statistical methodology applied to a set of firms at a particular time.
Cross-share holdings
Often used in risk arbitrage. Corporations' or governments' equity share ownership in another corporation's shares.
Cross-border bonds
Bonds that firms issue in the international market.
Crossed market
In the context of general equities, happens when the inside market consists of a highest bid price that is higher than the lowest offer price. See: Overlap the market.
Crossed trade
The prohibited practice of offsetting buy and sell orders without recording the trade on the exchange, thus not allowing other traders to take advantage of a more favorable price.
Crossover rate
The return at which two alternative projects have the same net present value.
Crowd trading
Used for listed equity securities. Group of exchange members with a defined area of function tending to congregate around a trading post pending execution of orders. Includes specialists, floor traders, odd-lot dealers, and other brokers as well as smaller groups with specialized functions. See: Priority.
Crowding out
Heavy federal borrowing that drives interest rates up and prevents businesses and consumers from borrowing when they would like to.
Crown jewel
A particularly profitable or otherwise particularly valuable corporate unit or asset of a firm. Often used in risk arbitrage. The most desirable entities within a diversified corporation as measured by asset value, earning power, and business prospects; in takeover attempts, these entities typically are the main objective of the acquirer and may be sold by a takeover target to make the rest of the company less attractive. See: Scorched earth policy.
Crown Law
A law derived from English law (ie. England, Ireland, Canada, PNG, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Malaysia).
Cum dividend
With dividend; said of a stock whose buyer is eligible to receive a declared dividend. Stocks are usually "cum dividend" for trades made on or before the third trading day preceding the record date, when the register of eligible holders is closed for that dividend period. Antithesis of ex-dividend.
Cum rights
With rights.
Cumulative abnormal return (CAR)
Sum of the differences between the expected return on a stock (systematic risk multiplied by the realized market return) and the actual return often used to evaluate the impact of news on a stock price.
Cumulative dividend feature
A requirement that any missed preferred or preference stock dividends be paid in full before any dividend payment on common shares is made.
Cumulative preferred stock
Preferred stock whose dividends accrue, should the issuer not make timely dividend payments. Related: Non-cumulative preferred stock.
Cumulative probability distribution
A function that shows the probability that the random variable will attain a value less than or equal to each value that the random variable can take on.
Cumulative total return
The actual performance of a fund over a particular period.
Cumulative Translation Adjustment (CTA) account
An entry in a translated balance sheet in which gains and/or losses from translation have been accumulated over a period of years. The C.T.A. account is required under the FASB No. 52 rule.
Cumulative voting
A system of voting for directors of a corporation in which shareholder's total number of votes is equal to the number of shares held times the number of candidates.
The Curb
Another name for the American Stock Exchange (AMEX).
Cure
To make good a default.
Currency
Money.
Currency appreciation
An increase in the value of one currency relative to another currency. Appreciation occurs when, because of a change in exchange rates, a unit of one currency buys more units of another currency.
Currency arbitrage
Taking advantage of divergences in exchange rates in different money markets by buying a currency in one market and selling it in another market.
Currency basket
The value of a portfolio of specific amounts of individual currencies, used as the basis for setting the market value of another currency. It is also referred to as a currency cocktail.
Currency Board
Entity charged with maintaining the value of a local currency with respect to some other specified currency.
Currency call option
Contract that gives the holder the right to purchase a specific currency at a specified price (exchange rate) within a specific period of time.
Currency Carry Trade
A carry trade where you borrow and pay interest in order to buy something else that has higher interest. For currencies, it might be that you borrow in Yen (where the interest rate might be low) and use the proceeds to purchase U.S. dollar long term debt. While the trade might produce a positive return, it is risky in two dimensions. First, U.S. rates could increase diminishing the value of the bond you purchased. Second, the exchange rate could take an unfavorable move effectively increasing your borrowing costs. Related: Carry Trade.
Currency depreciation
A decline in the value of one currency relative to another currency. Depreciation occurs when, because of a change in exchange rates, a unit of one currency buys fewer units of another currency.
Currency devaluation
A deliberate downward adjustment in the official exchange rates established, or pegged, by a government against a specified standard, such as another currency or gold.
Currency diversification
Using more than one currency as an investing or financing strategy. Exposure to a diversified currency portfolio typically entails less exchange rate risk than if all the portfolio exposure were in a single foreign currency.
Currency Exchange Risk
Uncertainty about the rate at which revenues or costs denominated in one currency can be converted into another currency.
Currency futures contract
Contract specifying a standard volume of a particular currency to be exchanged on a specific settlement date.
Currency future
A financial future contract for the delivery of a specified foreign currency.
Currency hedge
Applies mainly to international equities. Hedging technique to guard against foreign exchange fluctuations (i.e., short Euro l00 mm when holding a long position of Euro l00 mm in stocks).
Currency in circulation
Paper money, coins, and demand deposits that constitute all the money circulating in the economy.
Currency no longer issued
Old and new series gold and silver certificates, Federal Reserve notes, national bank notes, and 1890 Series Treasury notes.
Currency put option
Contract that gives the holder the right to sell a particular currency at a specified price (exchange rate) within a specified period of time.
Currency option
An option to buy or sell a foreign currency.
Currency overvaluation
Applies mainly to international equities: (1) consideration that a currency is overvalued if private demand for the currency at the going exchange rate is less than total private supply (i.e., central banks are buying up the difference, supporting the value of the currency through foreign exchange intervention); (2) currency value exceeding purchasing power parity.
Currency revaluation
A deliberate upward adjustment in the official exchange rate established, or pegged, by government against a specified standard, such as another currency or gold.
Currency risk
Related: Exchange rate risk
Currency selection
Asset allocation in which the investor chooses among investments denominated in different currencies.
Currency swap
An agreement to swap a series of specified payment obligations denominated in one currency for a series of specified payment obligations denominated in a different currency. Usually fixed for fixed.
Current account
Net flow of goods, services, and unilateral transactions (gifts) between countries.
Current account balance
The difference between the nation's total exports of goods, services and transfers and its total imports of them. Current account balance calculations exclude transactions in financial assets and liabilities.
Current assets
Value of cash, accounts receivable, inventories, marketable securities and other assets that could be converted to cash in less than 1 year.
Current coupon
A bond selling at or close to par, that is, a bond with a coupon close to the yields currently offered on new bonds of a similar maturity and credit risk.
Current Coupon Bond
Bonds on which the coupon is set approximately equal to the bonds' yield to maturity at the time of their issuance.
Current-coupon issues
Related: Benchmark issues
Current dollar
Refers to the use of actual or real prices and costs. Escalation or inflation effects are included.
Current income
Regular series of cash flows that is routinely received from investments in the form of dividends, interest, and other income sources.
Current income bonds
Bonds paying semiannual interest to holders. Interest is not included in the accrued discount.
Current issue
In Treasury securities, the most recently auctioned issue. Trading is more active in current issues than in off-the-run issues. Also known as on-the-run issue.
Current liabilities
Amount owed for salaries, interest, accounts payable and other debts due within 1 year.
Current market value
The value of a client's portfolio at today's market price, as listed in a brokerage statement.
Current maturity
Current time to maturity on an outstanding debt instrument.
Current/noncurrent method
The translation of all of a foreign subsidiary's current assets and liabilities into home currency at the current exchange rate while noncurrent assets and liabilities are translated at the historical exchange rate; that is, the rate in effect at the time the asset was acquired or the liability incurred.
Current order
In the context of periodic repayment schedules, the next periodic principal repayment.
Current production rate
The highest interest rate permissible on current Government National Mortgage Association, mortgage-backed securities.
Current rate method
The translation of all foreign currency balance sheet and income statement items at the current exchange rate.
Current ratio
Indicator of short-term debt-paying ability. Determined by dividing current assets by current liabilities. The higher the ratio, the more liquid the company.
Currency risk sharing
An agreement by the parties to a transaction to share the currency risk associated with the transaction. The arrangement involves a customized hedge contract embedded in the underlying transaction.
Current yield
For bonds or notes, the coupon rate divided by the market price of the bond.
Cushion
In the context of project financing, the extra amount of net cash flow remaining after expected debt service.
Cushion bonds
High-coupon bonds trading at a premium that tend to fall in price much less than comparable bonds when interest rates rise (hence the cushion effect), because of their high coupons.
Cushion theory
The theory that a stock with many short positions taken in it will rise, because these positions must be covered by the stock.
CUSIP number
Unique number given to a security to distinguish it from other stocks and registered bonds. See: Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures.
Custodial fees
Fees charged by an institution that holds securities in safekeeping for an investor.
Custodian
Either (1) a bank, agent, trust company, or other organization responsible for safeguarding financial assets, or (2) the individual who oversees the mutual fund assets of a minor's custodial account.
Custodian bank
Applies mainly to international equities. Bank or other financial institution that keeps custody of stock certificates and other assets of a mutual fund, individual, or corporate client. See: Depository Trust Company (DTC)
Customary payout ratios
A range of payout ratios that is typical according to an analysis of comparable firms.
"Customer picking prices"
Customer is firm on price and has set the price at which to transact.
Customer's loan consent
Agreement signed by a margin customer that allows a broker to borrow margin securities up to the level of the customer's debit balance to help cover other customers' short positions.
Customers' net debit balance
The total amount of credit given by NYSE member firms to finance customers purchasing securities.
Customized benchmarks
A benchmark that is designed to meet a client's requirements and long-term objectives.
Customs Broker
An individual or firm licensed by customs authorities to enter and clear imported goods through customs. The broker represents the importer in dealings with the customs authorities.
Customs union
An agreement by two or more countries to erect a common external tariff and to abolish restrictions on trade among members.
Cut Off Date
The date prescribed in the unclaimed property law in most states for determining the items of property that must be turned over to the state. See: Escheat.
Cutoff point
The lowest rate of return acceptable on investments.
Cycles
A full orbital period.
Cyclical stock
Stock that tends to rise quickly when the economy turns up and fall quickly when the economy turns down. Examples are housing, automobiles, and paper.
Cyclical unemployment
Unemployment caused by a low level of aggregate demand associated with recession in the business cycle.

View the next letter.

Copyright © 2014, Campbell R. Harvey. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without explicit permission.

[Version 1 April 2014.]


Keep up to date on the latest finance lingo with my new iPad/iPhone app


Download from iTunes

Order my book with the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner for financial writing, Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times


Order via Amazon
Order via Barnes and Noble