The Austerity Dictionary

Inspired by Ambrose Bierce, Brian M. Lucey crowdsourced (via Twitter) numerous definitions for what he called “The Austerity Dictionary.”

Brian is a finance prof at the Trinity College Dublin School of Business, and his complete list has a heavy focus on Ireland. I edited it down to its most universal usages.


The Austerity Dictionary

AIB: Another Irish Bailout
Austerity [n] The taking of money from passive citizens and giving it to wealthy gamblers.
Bank: a virus capable of destroying all in its path. No known cure.
Banker: carrier of the Bank virus
Bondholder: synonym for fireproof.
Budget: (European) The financing of an economy with the agreement of the German government.
Capitalism: When it fails, see Socialism
CDS: 1) Unregulated insurance products used to distort perceptions of risk 2) see Ponzi scheme
Confidence Fairy: A fairy tale to promote trickle down economics
ECB (v) to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s in a belief that the 2010s are really the 1920s
Fiscal Responsibility: Where you get to be responsible for the irresponsibility of government and banking.
Goldman Sachs: a form of alchemy where everything can in fact be monetized.
Green shoots of recovery: favoured diet of unicorns.
Liquidity trap: realizing your out of wine and no cash left
Luxuries: Examples include water, clothing and toilet roll
Muppets: collective noun for a group of Ireland’s bailout negotiators
National Interest: Common term to advance the interests of banks and the markets
Panacea: The blindingly obvious solution that could never be enacted due to the wants of various special interests.
Rating Agency: Pied Piper, for rats… sorry, rates, for RATES
Renters: those who didn’t join in the property madness who now have to help pay to clean up the mess
Sound fundamentals: term deployed when the economy is collapsing but you want to convey the opposite meaning
Standing up to the banks – a governmental maxim, meaning “not standing up to the banks”
Trickle down economics: the promise held out to the general public that if they are good, Europe will piss on their heads
Turning a corner (v.): Continuing at precisely the same angle around a perfectly circular circuit.
Zombie Bank: ghoulish unkillable horror creature that sucks the money from our childrens future

You can see the complete list here.


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