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Definition of Unencumbered

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Property free and clear of all liens (creditors' secured claims).

Related Terms:

acid test ratio (also called the quick ratio)

The sum of cash, accounts receivable, and short-term marketable
investments (if any) is divided by
total current liabilities to compute this ratio. Suppose that the short-term
creditors were to pounce on a business and not agree to roll over the
debts owed to them by the business. In this rather extreme scenario, the
acid test ratio reveals whether its cash and near-cash assets are enough
to pay its short-term current liabilities. This ratio is an extreme test that
is not likely to be imposed on a business unless it is in financial straits.
This ratio is quite relevant when a business is in a liquidation situation
or bankruptcy proceedings.

All equity rate

The discount rate that reflects only the business risks of a project and abstracts from the
effects of financing.

All-in cost

Total costs, explicit and implicit.

All or none

Requirement that none of an order be executed unless all of it can be executed at the specified price.

All-or-none underwriting

An arrangement whereby a security issue is canceled if the underwriter is unable
to re-sell the entire issue.


assign based on the use of a cost driver, a cost predictor,
or an arbitrary method


the systematic assignment of an amount to a recipient
set of categories annuity a series of equal cash flows (either positive or negative) per period

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The process of storing costs in one account and shifting them to other
accounts, based on some relevant measure of activity.

Allocation base A measure of activity or volume such as labour

hours, machine hours or volume of production
used to apportion overheads to products and

Allowance for bad debts

An offset to the accounts receivable balance, against which
bad debts are charged. The presence of this allowance allows one to avoid severe
changes in the period-to-period bad debt expense by expensing a steady amount to
the allowance account in every period, rather than writing off large bad debts to
expense on an infrequent basis.

Allowance for doubtful accounts

A contra account related to accounts receivable that represents the amounts that the company expects will not be collected.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An estimate of the uncollectible portion of accounts receivable
that is subtracted from the gross amount of accounts receivable to arrive at the estimated collectible

Allowance method

A method of adjusting accounts receivable to the amount that is expected to be collected based on company experience.

approximated net realizable value at split-off allocation

a method of allocating joint cost to joint products using a
simulated net realizable value at the split-off point; approximated
value is computed as final sales price minus
incremental separate costs

Arbitrage-free option-pricing models

Yield curve option-pricing models.

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.

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Automated Clearing House (ACH)

A collection of 32 regional electronic interbank networks used to
process transactions electronically with a guaranteed one-day bank collection float.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

A banking clearinghouse that processes direct
deposit transfers.

Balloon maturity

Any large principal payment due at maturity for a bond or loan with or without a a sinking
fund requirement.

Best-interests-of-creditors test

The requirement that a claim holder voting against a plan of reorganization
must receive at least as much as he would have if the debtor were liquidated.

Borrower fallout

In the mortgage pipeline, the risk that prospective borrowers of loans committed to be
closed will elect to withdraw from the contract.

British clearers

The large clearing banks that dominate deposit taking and short-term lending in the domestic
sterling market.


An option that gives the right to buy the underlying futures contract.


a. An option to buy a certain quantity of a stock or commodity for a
specified price within a specified time. See Put.
b. A demand to submit bonds to the issuer for redemption before the maturity date.
c. A demand for payment of a debt.
d. A demand for payment due on stock bought on margin.

Call an option

To exercise a call option.

Call date

A date before maturity, specified at issuance, when the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond
for a specified call price.

Call money rate

Also called the broker loan rate , the interest rate that banks charge brokers to finance
margin loans to investors. The broker charges the investor the call money rate plus a service charge.

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Call option

An option contract that gives its holder the right (but not the obligation) to purchase a specified
number of shares of the underlying stock at the given strike price, on or before the expiration date of the
Call premium
Premium in price above the par value of a bond or share of preferred stock that must be paid to
holders to redeem the bond or share of preferred stock before its scheduled maturity date.

Call Option

A contract that gives the holder the right to buy an asset for a
specified price on or before a given expiration (maturity) date

call option

Right to buy an asset at a specified exercise price on or before the exercise date.

Call price

The price, specified at issuance, at which the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond at a
specified call date.

Call price

The price for which a bond can be repaid before maturity under a call provision.

Call protection

A feature of some callable bonds that establishes an initial period when the bonds may not be

Call provision

An embedded option granting a bond issuer the right to buy back all or part of the issue prior
to maturity.

Call risk

The combination of cash flow uncertainty and reinvestment risk introduced by a call provision.

Call swaption

A swaption in which the buyer has the right to enter into a swap as a fixed-rate payer. The
writer therefore becomes the fixed-rate receiver/floating rate payer.


A financial security such as a bond with a call option attached to it, i.e., the issuer has the right to
call the security.

Callable bond

A bond that allows the issuer to buy back the bond at a
predetermined price at specified future dates. The bond contains an embedded
call option; i.e., the holder has sold a call option to the issuer. See Puttable

callable bond

Bond that may be repurchased by the issuer before maturity at specified call price.

Capital allocation

decision allocation of invested funds between risk-free assets versus the risky portfolio.

Capital Consumption Allowance

See depreciation.

Capital Cost Allowance (CCA)

The annual depreciation expense allowed by the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Chinese wall

Communication barrier between financiers (investment bankers) and traders. This barrier is
erected to prevent the sharing of inside information that bankers are likely to have.


A trade is carried out by the seller delivering securities and the buyer delivering funds in proper form.
A trade that does not clear is said to fail.

Clear a position

To eliminate a long or short position, leaving no ownership or obligation.

Clear Card

A credit card from which payments are deducted over subsequent time periods.

Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS)

A computerized clearing system for sterling funds
that began operations in 1984. It includes 14 member banks, nearly 450 participating banks, and is one of the
clearing companies within the structure of the Association for Payment clearing Services (APACS).

Clearing house / Clearinghouse

An adjunct to a futures exchange through which transactions executed its floor are settled by a
process of matching purchases and sales. A clearing organization is also charged with the proper conduct of
delivery procedures and the adequate financing of the entire operation.

Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS)

An international wire transfer system for high-value
payments operated by a group of major banks.

Clearing member

A member firm of a clearing house. Each clearing member must also be a member of the
exchange. Not all members of the exchange, however, are members of the clearing organization. all trades of
a non-clearing member must be registered with, and eventually settled through, a clearing member.

cost allocation

the assignment, using some reasonable basis,
of any indirect cost to one or more cost objects

Covered call

A short call option position in which the writer owns the number of shares of the underlying
stock represented by the option contracts. Covered calls generally limit the risk the writer takes because the
stock does not have to be bought at the market price, if the holder of that option decides to exercise it.

Covered call writing strategy

A strategy that involves writing a call option on securities that the investor
owns in his or her portfolio. See covered or hedge option strategies.


Purchases of goods or services from suppliers on credit to whom the debt is not yet paid. Or a
term used in the Balance Sheet to denote current liabilities.

Deferred call

A provision that prohibits the company from calling the bond before a certain date. During this
period the bond is said to be call protected.

Depreciation Allowances

Tax deductions that businesses can claim when they spend money on investment goods.

Dynamic asset allocation

An asset allocation strategy in which the asset mix is mechanistically shifted in
response to -changing market conditions, as in a portfolio insurance strategy, for example.

economically reworked

when the incremental revenue from the sale of reworked defective units is greater than
the incremental cost of the rework

Effective call price

The strike price in an optional redemption provision plus the accrued interest to the
redemption date.


One of two principal clearing systems in the Eurobond market. It began operations in 1968, is
located in Brussels, and is managed by Morgan Guaranty Bank.

Fallacy of Composition

The incorrect conclusion that something that is true for an individual is necessarily true for the economy as a whole.

Fallout risk

A type of mortgage pipeline risk that is generally created when the terms of the loan to be
originated are set at the same time as the sale terms are set. The risk is that either of the two parties, borrower
or investor, fails to close and the loan "falls out" of the pipeline.

Federally related institutions

Arms of the federal government that are exempt from SEC registration and
whose securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (with the exception of the
Tennessee Valley Authority).


With CMOs, the start of the cash flow cycle for the cash flow window.

free cash flow

Generally speaking, this term refers to cash flow from
profit (cash flow from operating activities, to use the more formal term).
The underlying idea is that a business is free to do what it wants with its
cash flow from profit. However, a business usually has many ongoing
commitments and demands on this cash flow, so it may not actually be
free to decide what do with this source of cash. Warning: This term is
not officially defined anywhere and different persons use the term to
mean different things. Pay particular attention to how an author or
speaker is using the term.

Free Cash Flow

The funds available for distribution to the capital providers of the
company after investments inside the company have been made

Free cash flows

Cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before
interest (often obtained from operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the
change in working capital.

Free float

An exchange rate system characterized by the absence of government intervention. Also known as
clean float.

Free on board

Implies that distributive services like transport and handling performed on goods up to the
customs frontier of the economy from which the goods are classed as merchandise.

Free-on-Board (FOB) Destination

A shipping arrangement agreed to between buyer and
seller where title to the goods sold passes when the goods in question reach their destination.
When goods are shipped FOB destination, revenue is properly recognized when the goods reach
their destination.

Free-on-Board (FOB) Shipping Point

A shipping arrangement agreed to between buyer and
seller where title to the goods sold passes when the goods in question are delivered to a common
carrier. When goods are shipped FOB shipping point, revenue is properly recognized when the
goods are delivered to the common carrier.

Free reserves

Excess reserves minus member bank borrowings at the Fed.

Free rider

A follower who avoids the cost and expense of finding the best course of action and by simply
mimicking the behavior of a leader who made these investments.

Free Trade

The absence of any government restrictions, such as tariffs or quotas, on imports or exports.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP)

A technical accounting term that encompasses the
conventions, rules, and procedures necessary to define accepted accounting practice at a particular time.

Generally accepted accounting principles

The rules that accountants follow when processing accounting transactions and creating financial reports. The rules are primarily
derived from regulations promulgated by the various branches of the AICPA Council.

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

This important term
refers to the body of authoritative rules for measuring profit and preparing
financial statements that are included in financial reports by a business
to its outside shareowners and lenders. The development of these
guidelines has been evolving for more than 70 years. Congress passed a
law in 1934 that bestowed primary jurisdiction over financial reporting
by publicly owned businesses to the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). But the SEC has largely left the development of GAAP to the
private sector. Presently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is
the primary (but not the only) authoritative body that makes pronouncements
on GAAP. One caution: GAAP are like a movable feast. New rules
are issued fairly frequently, old rules are amended from time to time,
and some rules established years ago are discarded on occasion. Professional
accountants have a heck of time keeping up with GAAP, that’s for
sure. Also, new GAAP rules sometimes have the effect of closing the barn
door after the horse has left. Accounting abuses occur, and only then,
after the damage has been done, are new rules issued to prevent such
abuses in the future.

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

Procedures for preparing financial statements.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

A common set of standards and procedures
for the preparation of general-purpose financial statements that either have been established
by an authoritative accounting rule-making body, such as the Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB), or over time have become accepted practice because of their universal

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP is the term used to describe the underlying rules basis on which financial statements are normally prepared. This is codified in the Handbook of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Glass-Steagall Act

A 1933 act in which Congress forbade commercial banks to own, underwrite, or deal in
corporate stock and corporate bonds.

High-Risk Small Business

Firm viewed as being particularly subject to risk from an investors perspective.

Implied call

The right of the homeowner to prepay, or call, the mortgage at any time.

Installment sale

The sale of an asset in exchange for a specified series of payments (the installments).

Institutionally Induced Unemployment

Unemployment due to institutional phenomena such as the degree of labor force unionization, the level of discrimination, and government policies such as unemployment insurance programs, minimum wages, or regulations on business.

Internally efficient market

Operationally efficient market.

internally generated funds

Cash reinvested in the firm; depreciation plus earnings not paid out as dividends.

Investor fallout

In the mortgage pipeline, risk that occurs when the originator commits loan terms to the
borrowers and gets commitments from investors at the time of application, or if both sets of terms are made at closing.

Irrational call option

The implied call imbedded in the MBS. Identified as irrational because the call is
sometimes not exercised when it is in the money (interest rates are below the threshold to refinance).
Sometimes exercised when not in the money (home sold without regard to the relative level of interest rates).

Joint clearing members

Firms that clear on more than one exchange.

Limitation on liens

A bond covenant that restricts in some way a firm's ability to grant liens on its assets.

Margin call

A demand for additional funds because of adverse price movement. Maintenance margin
requirement, security deposit maintenance
Margin of safety With respect to working capital management, the difference between 1) the amount of longterm
financing, and 2) the sum of fixed assets and the permanent component of current assets.

Market clearing

Total demand for loans by borrowers equals total supply of loans from lenders. The market,
any market, clears at the equilibrium rate of interest or price.

Marketed claims

claims that can be bought and sold in financial markets, such as those of stockholders and

Mortgage-Backed Securities Clearing Corporation

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Midwest Stock
Exchange that operates a clearing service for the comparison, netting, and margining of agency-guaranteed
MBSs transacted for forward delivery.

Mutually exclusive investment decisions

Investment decisions in which the acceptance of a project
precludes the acceptance of one or more alternative projects.

mutually exclusive projects

a set of proposed capital projects from which one is chosen, causing all the others to be rejected

mutually exclusive projects

Two or more projects that cannot be pursued simultaneously.

mutually inclusive projects

a set of proposed capital projects that are all related and that must all be chosen if the primary project is chosen

net income (also called the bottom line, earnings, net earnings, and net

operating earnings)
This key figure equals sales revenue for a period
less all expenses for the period; also, any extraordinary gains and losses
for the period are included in this final profit figure. Everything is taken
into account to arrive at net income, which is popularly called the bottom
line. Net income is clearly the single most important number in business
financial reports.







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