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Glossary

 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
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Balance Sheet
A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities and shareholders' equity at a specific point in time. These three balance sheet segments give investors an idea as to what the company owns and owes, as well as the amount invested by the shareholders. The balance sheet must follow the following formula: Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders' Equity.

Bank of Japan (BOJ)
Headquartered in the business district of Nihonbashi in Tokyo, the Bank of Japan is the Japanese central bank. The bank is responsible for issuing and handling currency and treasury securities, implementing monetary policy, maintaining the stability of the Japanese financial system, and providing settling and clearing services.

Bear Flattener
A bear flattener is when yields in the short end of the yield curve are rising faster than yields in the long end of the yield curve. For instance if the 2yr note yield was rising faster than the 10yr note yield. Although yields are rising, because yields in the front end are rising faster than yields in the long end, the yield spread between the 2yr and 10yr would be getting smaller, or tightening.

Bear Steepener
A bear steepener is when yields in the long end are rising faster than yields in the short end of the curve. For instance, if the 10yr note yield was rising faster than the 2yr note yield, then the difference between the 2yr note yield and the 10yr note yield would be increasing the yield spread between the 2yr note and 10yr note would be getting higher, or wider.

Beige Book
A commonly used name for the Fed report called the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District. It is published just before the FOMC meeting on interest rates and is used to inform the members on changes in the economy since the last meeting.

Ben Bernanke
Ben S. Bernanke began a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on February 1, 2010. Dr. Bernanke also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body. He originally took office as Chairman on February 1, 2006, when he also began a 14-year term as a member of the Board. His second term as Chairman ended January 31, 2014, and his term as a Board member ends January 31, 2020. Before his appointment as Chairman, Dr. Bernanke was Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, from June 2005 to January 2006.

Bid
An offer made by an investor, a trader or a dealer to buy a security. The bid will stipulate both the price at which the buyer is willing to purchase the security and the quantity to be purchased.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is a weekly, random-sample survey tracking Americans' views on the condition of the U.S. economy, their personal finances and the buying climate. The survey was formerly sponsored by ABC News since 1985.

Board of Governors
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States that provides the nation with a safe, flexible, and stable monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve consists of twelve Federal Reserve Districts as follows:
  • Boston
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Cleveland
  • Richmond
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • St. Louis
  • Minneapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Dallas
  • San Francisco


  • BOE
    Bank of England

    Bond
    A debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and U.S. and foreign governments to finance a variety of projects and activities.

    BPS
    Basis point. One-hundredth of a percentage point (1/100 of 1%). One percentage point equals 100 basis points.

    Building Permits
    The Building Permits released by the US Census Bureau, at the Department of Commerce shows the number of permits for new construction projects. It implies the movement of corporate investments (US economic development). It tends to cause some volatility to the USD. Normally, the more growing number of permits, the more positive (or bullish) for the USD.

    Bull Flattener
    A bull flattener is when yields in the long end of the curve are falling faster than yields in the front end of the yield curve. For instance if 10yr TSY note yields are falling faster than 2yr TSY notes, then the spread between the two TSY coupons would be tightening or more simply put there are less yield basis points separating the 2yr note and 10yr note.

    Bull flattening
    A yield-rate environment in which long-term rates are decreasing at a rate faster than short-term rates. This causes the yield curve to flatten as the short-term and long-term rates start to converge.

    Bull Steepener
    A bull steepener is when yields in the front end of the yield curve are falling faster than yields in the long end of the yield curve. For instance, if the 2yr note yield was falling faster than the 10yr note yield, then the difference between the 2yr note yield and the 10yr note yield would be increasing the yield spread between the 2yr and 10yr would be getting higher, or wider.

    Bunds
    The German government's federal bond. The bund is issued to the public as a way for the German government to finance its spending. The bund is like the Treasury bonds in the U.S. They are government-backed instruments of the highest quality.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

    Business Inventories
    An economic figure that tracks the dollar amount of inventories held by retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers across the nation. Business inventories are essentially the amount of all products available to sell to other businesses and/or the end consumer. When tracked alongside a sales index, production activity in the near term can be predicted.

    Buyback
    A corporation's repurchase of stock or bonds it has issued. In the case of stocks, this reduces the number of shares outstanding, giving each remaining shareholder a larger percentage ownership of the company. This is usually considered a sign that the company's management is optimistic about the future and believes that the current share price is undervalued. Reasons for buybacks include putting unused cash to use, raising earnings per share, increasing internal control of the company, and obtaining stock for employee stock option plans or pension plans. When a company's shareholders vote to authorize a buyback, they aren't obliged to actually undertake the buyback which is also called corporate repurchase.

     
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