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Definition of AS

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Aggregate supply.

Related Terms:

Ordinary least squares (OLS)

regression analysis a statistical technique that minimizes the sum of the squared deviations between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables and provides the user
with a y-intercept and x-coefficients, as well as feedback such as R2 (explained
variation/total variation) t-statistics, p-values, etc.

NPV (net present value of cash flows)

Same as PV, but usually includes a subtraction for an initial cash outlay.

PV (present value of cash flows)

the value in today’s dollars of cash flows that occur in different time periods.
present value factor equal to the formula 1/(1 - r)n, where n is the number of years from the valuation date to the cash flow and r is the discount rate.
For business valuation, n should usually be midyear, i.e., n = 0.5, 1.5, . . .

Acquisition of assets

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the selling firm's assets.

Agency basis

A means of compensating the broker of a program trade solely on the basis of commission
established through bids submitted by various brokerage firms. agency incentive arrangement. A means of
compensating the broker of a program trade using benchmark prices for issues to be traded in determining
commissions or fees.

Agency pass-throughs

Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").

Asian currency units (ACUs)

Dollar deposits held in Singapore or other Asian centers.

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Asian option

Option based on the average price of the asset during the life of the option.


This is the quoted ask, or the lowest price an investor will accept to sell a stock. Practically speaking, this
is the quoted offer at which an investor can buy shares of stock; also called the offer price.

Ask price

A dealer's price to sell a security; also called the offer price.


Any possession that has value in an exchange.

Asset/equity ratio

The ratio of total assets to stockholder equity.

Asset/liability management

Also called surplus management, the task of managing funds of a financial
institution to accomplish the two goals of a financial institution:
1) to earn an adequate return on funds invested, and
2) to maintain a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities.

Asset activity ratios

Ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.

Asset allocation decision

The decision regarding how an institution's funds should be distributed among the
major classes of assets in which it may invest.

Asset-backed security

A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables, or installment contracts
on personal property, not real estate.

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Asset-based financing

Methods of financing in which lenders and equity investors look principally to the
cash flow from a particular asset or set of assets for a return on, and the return of, their financing.

Asset classes

Categories of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate and foreign securities.

Asset-coverage test

A bond indenture restriction that permits additional borrowing on if the ratio of assets to
debt does not fall below a specified minimum.

Asset for asset swap

Creditors exchange the debt of one defaulting borrower for the debt of another
defaulting borrower.

Asset pricing model

A model for determining the required rate of return on an asset.

Asset substitution

A firm's investing in assets that are riskier than those that the debtholders expected.

Asset substitution problem

Arises when the stockholders substitute riskier assets for the firm's existing
assets and expropriate value from the debtholders.

Asset swap

An interest rate swap used to alter the cash flow characteristics of an institution's assets so as to
provide a better match with its iabilities.

Asset turnover

The ratio of net sales to total assets.

Asset pricing model

A model, such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), that determines the required
rate of return on a particular asset.


A firm's productive resources.

Assets requirements

A common element of a financial plan that describes projected capital spending and the
proposed uses of net working capital.


The receipt of an exercise notice by an options writer that requires the writer to sell (in the case
of a call) or purchase (in the case of a put) the underlying security at the specified strike price.


A lack of equivalence between two things, such as the unequal tax treatment of interest expense
and dividend payments.

Asymmetric information

Information that is known to some people but not to other people.

Asymmetric taxes

A situation wherein participants in a transaction have different net tax rates.

Attribute bias

The tendency of stocks preferred by the dividend discount model to share certain equity
attributes such as low price-earnings ratios, high dividend yield, high book-value ratio or membership in a
particular industry sector.

Average (across-day) measures

An estimation of price that uses the average or representative price of a
large number of trades.

Bank discount basis

A convention used for quoting bids and offers for treasury bills in terms of annualized
yield , based on a 360-day year.

Bargain-purchase-price option

Gives the lessee the option to purchase the asset at a price below fair market
value when the lease expires.

Base interest rate

Related: Benchmark interest rate.

Base probability of loss

The probability of not achieving a portfolio expected return.

Basic balance

In a balance of payments, the basic balance is the net balance of the combination of the current
account and the capital account.

Basic business strategies

Key strategies a firm intends to pursue in carrying out its business plan.

Basic IRR rule

Accept the project if IRR is greater than the discount rate; reject the project is lower than the
discount rate.


Regarding a futures contract, the difference between the cash price and the futures price observed in the
market. Also, it is the price an investor pays for a security plus any out-of-pocket expenses. It is used to
determine capital gains or losses for tax purposes when the stock is sold.

Basis point

In the bond market, the smallest measure used for quoting yields is a basis point. Each percentage
point of yield in bonds equals 100 basis points. Basis points also are used for interest rates. An interest rate of
5% is 50 basis points greater than an interest rate of 4.5%.

Basis price

Price expressed in terms of yield to maturity or annual rate of return.

Basis risk

The uncertainty about the basis at the time a hedge may be lifted. Hedging substitutes basis risk for
price risk.

Basket options

Packages that involve the exchange of more than two currencies against a base currency at
expiration. The basket option buyer purchases the right, but not the obligation, to receive designated
currencies in exchange for a base currency, either at the prevailing spot market rate or at a prearranged rate of
exchange. A basket option is generally used by multinational corporations with multicurrency cash flows
since it is generally cheaper to buy an option on a basket of currencies than to buy individual options on each
of the currencies that make up the basket.

Basket trades

Related: Program trades.

Biased expectations theories

Related: pure expectations theory.


spread The difference between the bid and asked prices.

Bond-equivalent basis

The method used for computing the bond-equivalent yield.

Break-even lease payment

The lease payment at which a party to a prospective lease is indifferent between
entering and not entering into the lease arrangement.

Capital asset pricing model (CAPM)

An economic theory that describes the relationship between risk and
expected return, and serves as a model for the pricing of risky securities. The CAPM asserts that the only risk
that is priced by rational investors is systematic risk, because that risk cannot be eliminated by diversification.
The CAPM says that the expected return of a security or a portfolio is equal to the rate on a risk-free security
plus a risk premium.

Capital lease

A lease obligation that has to be capitalized on the balance sheet.


The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a company. Usually
includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's Acceptances. Cash
equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash budget

A forecasted summary of a firm's expected cash inflows and cash outflows as well as its
expected cash and loan balances.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

Cash and equivalents

The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a
company. Usually includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's
Acceptances. Cash equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash commodity

The actual physical commodity, as distinguished from a futures contract.

Cash conversion cycle

The length of time between a firm's purchase of inventory and the receipt of cash
from accounts receivable.

Cash cow

A company that pays out all earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or
division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.

Cash cycle

In general, the time between cash disbursement and cash collection. In net working capital
management, it can be thought of as the operating cycle less the accounts payable payment period.

Cash deficiency agreement

An agreement to invest cash in a project to the extent required to cover any cash
deficiency the project may experience.

Cash delivery

The provision of some futures contracts that requires not delivery of underlying assets but
settlement according to the cash value of the asset.

Cash discount

An incentive offered to purchasers of a firm's product for payment within a specified time
period, such as ten days.

Cash dividend

A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on
profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in
addition to the dividend.

Cash equivalent

A short-term security that is sufficiently liquid that it may be considered the financial
equivalent of cash.

Cash flow

In investments, it represents earnings before depreciation , amortization and non-cash charges.
Sometimes called cash earnings. Cash flow from operations (called funds from operations ) by real estate and
other investment trusts is important because it indicates the ability to pay dividends.

Cash flow after interest and taxes

Net income plus depreciation.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

Cash flow from operations

A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net

Cash flow matching

Also called dedicating a portfolio, this is an alternative to multiperiod immunization in
which the manager matches the maturity of each element in the liability stream, working backward from the
last liability to assure all required cash flows.

Cash flow per common share

Cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the
number of common shares outstanding.

Cash flow time-line

Line depicting the operating activities and cash flows for a firm over a particular period.

Cash-flow break-even point

The point below which the firm will need either to obtain additional financing
or to liquidate some of its assets to meet its fixed costs.

Cash management bill

Very short maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash
balances are down and it needs money for a few days.

Cash markets

Also called spot markets, these are markets that involve the immediate delivery of a security
or instrument.
Related: derivative markets.

Cash offer

A public equity issue that is sold to all interested investors.

Cash ratio

The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.

Cash settlement contracts

Futures contracts, such as stock index futures, that settle for cash, not involving
the delivery of the underlying.

Cash transaction

A transaction where exchange is immediate, as contrasted to a forward contract, which
calls for future delivery of an asset at an agreed-upon price.

Cash-equivalent items

Temporary investments of currently excess cash in short-term, high-quality
investment media such as treasury bills and Banker's Acceptances.

Cash-surrender value

An amount the insurance company will pay if the policyholder ends a whole life
insurance policy.


Refers to a situation where a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.

Closing purchase

A transaction in which the purchaser's intention is to reduce or eliminate a short position in
a stock, or in a given series of options.

Common-base-year analysis

The representing of accounting information over multiple years as percentages
of amounts in an initial year.
Common-size analysis The representing of balance sheet items as percentages of assets and of income
statement items as percentages of sales.

Consensus forecast

The mean of all financial analysts' forecasts for a company.

Conventional pass-throughs

Also called private-label pass-throughs, any mortgage pass-through security not
guaranteed by government agencies. Compare agency pass-throughs.

Cost of lease financing

A lease's internal rate of return.

Currency basket

The value of a portfolio of specific amounts of individual currencies, used as the basis for
setting the market value of another currency. It is also referred to as a currency cocktail.

Current assets

Value of cash, accounts receivable, inventories, marketable securities and other assets that
could be converted to cash in less than 1 year.

Deductive reasoning

The use of general fact to provide accurate information about a specific situation.


Practice whereby the borrower sets aside cash or bonds sufficient to service the borrower's debt.
Both the borrower's debt and the offestting cash or bonds are removed from the balance sheet.

Demand master notes

Short-term securities that are repayable immediately upon the holder's demand.

Devaluation A decrease in the spot price of the currency

Direct lease

Lease in which the lessor purchases new equipment from the manufacturer and leases it to the

Direct stock-purchase programs

The purchase by investors of securities directly from the issuer.

Discounted basis

Selling something on a discounted basis is selling below what its value will be at maturity,
so that the difference makes up all or part of the interest.

Discounted cash flow (DCF)

Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.

Discretionary cash flow

Cash flow that is available after the funding of all positive NPV capital investment
projects; it is available for paying cash dividends, repurchasing common stock, retiring debt, and so on.







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