The Exchange

What Is the Finance Word of the Year?

The Exchange

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Chris Bailey is a global investment professional with strong top-down awareness and a bottom-up research focus. He blogs at www.financialorbit.com, is on Twitter at @financial_orbit and operates the financialorbit.com channel on YouTube.

Apparently "selfie" is the word of the year. I guess it could have been worse. It did get me thinking though. What should be the finance word of 2013?

"Taper" is an obvious candidate. Mr Bernanke kindly introduced this word into the world’s financial vocabulary when talking about the dry subject of the setting of future interest rate expectations. Obviously he caused some confusion initially with why he was referring, in his speech, to a not-very-well-known animal species…but fortunately the Federal Reserve’s press officers could help sort that one out.

Talking about words that few people used before this year there is "Plenum," which attached itself as a neat shorthand for the meeting of the Chinese Communist Party leaders. The trouble with this word is that it is very back-end 2013 loaded…and people cannot decided whether to use a capital "P" or a lowercase one.

This leads nicely to "bitcoin," where crypto-currency stalwarts will direct you to the use of a lowercase "b."  Again, writing in November, this word seems all-important but apart from a mini-boom and crash early in the year, it again feels too second half of the year weighted from a popular financial phrase perspective.

Unfortunately "austerity" has to make another appearance as this has been the reality for most people living outside the gilded top 10% of society. 2013, at least in stock market terms, was a bullish year so choosing this word would feel wrong.

"Twitter," by contrast, fits in very nicely with this stock market move. A rampant IPO and a growing financial sector ubiquity make it the perfect candidate to be the 2013 finance word of the year. Useful, entertaining, sometimes annoying but increasingly permanent

Right…off to tweet these thoughts now!

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