Finance Crisis Glossary Here is a guide to some of the business terms coined to describe the social effects of the credit crunch
Bear market In a bear market, prices are falling and investors, anticipating losses, tend to sell. This can create a self-sustaining downward spiral. Bull market A bull market is one in which prices are generally rising and investor confidence is high
Chapter 11 The term for bankruptcy protection in the US. It postpones a company's obligations to its creditors, giving it time to reorganize its debts or sell parts of the business
Credit crunch The situation created when banks hugely reduced their lending to each other because they were uncertain about how much money they had.
Stagflation The dreaded combination of inflation and stagnation - an economy that is not growing while prices continue to rise .
Correction A short-term drop in stock market prices. The term comes from the notion that, when this happens, overpriced stocks are returning back to their "correct" values.
Currency pegs A commitment by a government to maintain its currency at a fixed value in relation to another currency. Typically this is done by the government buying its own currency to force the value up, or selling its own currency to lower the value.
Dead cat bounce A phrase long used on trading floors to describe a short-lived recovery of share prices in a falling stock market.
FTSE-100 An index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the biggest market capitalization - the share price multiplied by the number of shares. The index is revised every three months.
Prime rate A term used primarily in North America to describe the standard lending rate of banks to most customers. The prime rate is usually the same across all banks.
Investment bank Investment banks provide financial services for governments, companies or extremely rich individuals. They differ from commercial banks where you have your savings or your mortgage.
Junk bond A bond (or loan to a company) with a high interest rate to reward the lender for a high risk of default.
Ponzi scheme Similar to a pyramid scheme, an enterprise where - instead of genuine profits - funds from new investors are used to pay high returns to current investors. such schemes are destined to collapse as soon as new investment tails off or significant numbers of investors simultaneously wish to withdraw funds.
Sub-prime mortgages These carry a higher risk to the lender (and therefore tend to be at higher interest rates) because they are offered to people who have had financial problems or who have low or unpredictable incomes.
Toxic debts Debts that are very unlikely to be recovered from borrowers.