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.


Category: Bailouts, Humor, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

3 Responses to “The Austerity Dictionary”

  1. [...] stuff by Brian M. Lucey over at his blog here. Below is just a sampling… (H/T Ritholtz) This started out as a little crowdsourced joke on Twitter, with the hashtag #austeridictionary [...]

  2. diogeron says:

    See Bierce’s definition of “corporation.”

  3. S Brennan says:

    made me laugh…