Wall Street Lexicons, A Witch's Brew

Yes, it's that time of year again. When kids, and even adults, prepare to don masks and outrageous costumes to impersonate ghosts, monsters and other assorted unsavory characters. Halloween enthusiasts or not, members of the investment world are not without their ghoulish terminology (as defined on Investopedia.com). Take not the ones you find in a cemetery, but rather the written advertisements issued

Yes, it's that time of year again. When kids, and even adults, prepare to don masks and outrageous costumes to impersonate ghosts, monsters and other assorted unsavory characters.

Halloween enthusiasts or not, members of the investment world are not without their ghoulish terminology (as defined on Investopedia.com). Take “tombstones,” not the ones you find in a cemetery, but rather the written advertisements issued by investment bankers before the public offering of a security. And “graveyard” markets, which are what you find at the end of a long bear market, after investors have just finished suffering through a financial storm. Nor are ghosts reserved for delusional paranormal detectives: “Ghosting” is the illegal practice of collaboration between two or more markets to manipulate stock prices.

And the list goes on: “phantom stock” is, not surprisingly, a non-existent stock. And “voodoo accounting” is not, actually, the practice of reducing one's tax burden with black magic — but, rather, of fudging the books with suspicious accounting methods. Also, beware “The Witching Hours,” when two or three classes of options or futures expire on the same day. Spooooky.

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