The publishers aren’t interested. Shockingly, it now seems unlikely that any of my four recession themed books – see A Novel Idea – will ever be printed. A rather unsavoury film studio in California have bought the rights to Permission To Build, License to Love, my steamy novel about passion and lust in An Bord Pleanala, but they’ve taken out all the plot and kept only the love scenes. And changed the title to Sex-Plan 7 – Debbie Does Due Diligence.

Not one to give up, I’m changing genre yet again. Lexiconomics: Dictionary for the Depression is my attempt to tap into the non-fiction Christmas present market.

There was a time when business stories formed the rather dry snippets read out just before the end of the news programme like the death notices at mass. Now they’re the main event. But with them comes a whole new raft of words for us to learn. Lexiconomics attempts to explain those words in layman’s language. Here – exclusive to the Cork News –  are some of the more widely used terms that I’m helping to define for a public hungry for explanations.

Mortgage in arrears: A pain in the backside

Delinquent mortgages: Spending your mortgage money on cider and bags of glue.

Tracker Mortgage: A mortgage that tastes great but is surprisingly low in calories.

Prime Mortgage: This is a mortgage where the amount owed is divisible only by one and itself – for example €377633.

Sub-Prime Mortgage: If your prime mortgage gets injured, or you want to slow down the game, or you just need someone to ‘throw a few belts’ into a nippy corner-forward, you may bring on a sub-prime mortgage.

Ghost-estate: The type of car a ghost buys when he gives up gallivanting and settles down with a wife and family.

Bond Yields: What 007 does when he approaches a road of greater importance than the one he is on, and there is no STOP sign.

Bond Market: A place where 007 sells organically grown carrots, goat’s cheese and Ballymaloe Relish.

Bondholders: See Fig.1, 2

Figure 1 - Bondholder

Figure 2 - Subordinated bondholder

Credit Crunch: The mental arithmetic you do to figure out whether the person you want to call is worth topping-up for.

Credit Default Swap: Also known as a CDS. The handing over of one’s mobile phone to a friend, who has forgotten to top-up, in exchange for thanks.

Sovereign Debt: Money you owe to a man with indian-inked knuckles and large fake-gold rings.

Anglo-Irish Bank: A Bank set up in 1169 by the Normans which over the years became more and more integrated with the native Irish. They adopted some of our customs – dishonesty, vulgar displays of wealth, incompetence – and eventually became “more Irish than the Irish themselves”.

Educational Building Society (EBS): A financial institution where senior staff learn how to run a building society while on the job – with hilarious consequences.

Capitalisation: The use of CAPITALS in text messages, either because you want to convey shouting, or you are of a certain age and don’t know how to switch capitals off.

Recapitalisation: Doing so again, despite a patient explanation from a loved one on how to switch capitals off.

Gross Domestic Product: Jedward

Hedge Funds: University fees during the Penal Times.

Negative Equity: A union for bad actors.

Securitisation: The sudden appearance of bouncers on the dancefloor.

NAMA: The first word uttered by a baby economist.

Lexiconomics is not just about the past though. If we’re to get out of this hole we need some solutions. The old orthodoxies have let us down. It’s time for a new economic theory – one grown right here in Cork. This is a term you haven’t heard yet but hopefully soon will:

Keanesian Economics: A school of uncompromising economic thought with core principles such as: You can’t train on a carpark! Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Most importantly of all, if you don’t like it, you can shove it up your b****x.

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