C2C - Consumer-To-Consumer, a marketing/business model (compare with B2B, B2C, etc) illustrated by 'car-boot' sales, yard sales, small private ads, and more significantly E-Bay, Amazon and other big C2C internet portals, which by the end of the first decade of the 2000s had become a substantial aspect of global economics and human society, and a real threat to the long-term future of some very large corporate industries. See also the broadly equivalent P2P (big explanation of P2P [Peer-To-Peer] in the acronyms section).
Cafeteria Plan - A system which allows employees to choose from a selection of benefits which may be tax-advantaged, such as retirement plan contributions, health benefits, etc., in addition to their salary.
Calculated Risk - A risk which has been undertaken after careful consideration has been given to the likely outcome.
Callable - Usually applies to bonds or convertible securities which can be bought back, at an agreed price, before maturity, by the company or government which sold them.
Call Account - A bank account, which usually pays a higher rate of interest, from which investors can make instant withdrawals.
Callipygian - Having well-shaped beautiful buttocks. This fascinating obscure term (thanks S Marcus, PhD) - indeed the OED categorises the adjective as 'rare' - deserves wider exposure. Callipygian is pronounced 'Kallipijian' with the emphasis on the 'pij' syllable. A more recent variation is Callypygous ('kallipijus'). The word came into English in the late 1700s from Greek, kallipugos, which was used to describe a statue of Venus (the 1922 OED says it was actually the name of a statue of Venus), from kallos meaning beauty, and puge, meaning buttocks. Kallos is also a root of the word calligraphy (decorative handwriting/lettering), and callisthenics (graceful gymnastics).
Cap And Collar - The upper and lower limits of interest rates on a loan, usually fixed for a specific period of time.
Capital - The net worth of a business, including assets, cash, property, etc., which exceeds its liabilities (debts). The amount of money invested in a business to generate income.
Capital Allowance - Money spent by a company on fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, machinery, which is deducted from its profits before tax is calculated.
Capital Flight - The sudden movement of money from one country or investment to another in order to reduce risk, such as high inflation, or to increase profit.
Capital Gains Tax - Tax payable on profits made on the sale of certain types of assets by a company or individual.
Capitialism - When an economic system of a country is controlled and profited by private individuals and corporations, rather than the government.
Capitalization Issue - When a company converts its spare profits into shares, which are then distributed to existing shareholders in proportion to the amount of shares they already hold.
Capital Outlay - Money which is spent for the acquisition of assets, such as land, buildings, vehicles, machinery.
Capped-Rate - Interest rate, usually on a loan, which cannot rise above the upper set level but can vary beneath this level.
Carbon Credit - Allows the right to emit a measured amount of harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the air, and can be traded between businesses and countries.
Carey Street - To be heavily in debt or bankrupt. Originates from Carey Street in London where the bankruptcy court was situated.
Carload - A shipment of goods which, typically by weight, qualifies for a lower shipping rate. The term 'Less than carload' refers to a shipment which is below the given size/weight necessary to qualify for such a rate. The term originated from USA railway freight car transportation and also applies to other methods of freight transport, notably shipping containers, hence similar terms containerload and 'less than containerload'.
Carnet - An international official permit which allows you to take certain goods, e.g. for display or demonstration, into another country, duty free, for a specific period - usually 12 months.
Carpet Bomb - To send an advertisement to a large number of people by e-mail or onto their computer screens.
Cartel - A group of separate companies or nations which together agree to control prices and not compete against each other. Also known as a Price Ring.
Cash Call - A request by a company to its shareholders to invest more money.
Cash Cow - A steady dependable source of income which provides money for the rest of a business.
Cash Flow - The movement of money into and out of a company, organisation, etc.
Cash Flow Forecast - Also called Cash Flow Projection. An estimate of the amounts of cash outgoings and incomings of a company over a specific time period, usually one year.
Casting Vote - The deciding vote cast by the presiding officer to resolve a deadlock when there are an equal number of votes on both sides.
Catch-22 - Much misused expression, it refers properly only to a problem whose solution is inherently self-defeating. Wrongly it is used to describe any insurmountable or difficult problem. It's from Joseph Heller's book of the same name; see cliches origins.
Category Killer - Large companies that put smaller and less efficient competing companies out of business.
Cattle Call - Term used in the entertainment industry for a large number of actors, etc., who are all auditioning for the same job.
Caveat Emptor - When the buyer takes the risks and is responsible for checking the condition or quality of the item purchased. (Latin - Let the buyer beware)
C E Mark - Conformite Europeenne (European Conformity). A symbol on many products sold in the European Union indicating that they have met health, safety and/or environmental requirements, ensuring consumer and workplace safety.
Central Counterparty - Acts on behalf of both parties in a transaction, so that the buyer and seller do not have to deal with each other directly.
Central Reservation System (CRS) - A computer database system used by a chain of hotels (and other services providers) enabling availability and rates to be monitored and bookings to be made.
Chain Of Command - A system in a business, or in the military, in which authority is wielded and delegated from top management down through every level of employee. In a chain of command instructions flow downwards and accountability flows upwards.
Chamber Of Commerce - A group of business owners in a town or city who form a network to promote local business.
Channel Of Distribution - Also known as Distribution Channel. A means of distributing a product from the manufacturer to the customer/end user via warehouses, wholesalers, retailers, etc.
Check The Gate - A term used in the film industry after a shot is taken on a film set. The gate, or opening in front of the camera, is checked to make sure that there is no dirt, hair, etc., present.
Clapper Boy - On a film or TV set, the person who holds the clapperboard (which has information on it, for example film title, shot number, etc) in front of the camera for about one second at the start of each shot after the camera starts rolling.
Class Action - A lawsuit in which one person makes a claim and sues on behalf of a large group of people who have similar legal claims, usually against a company or organisation.
Class A Spot - In the media, commercials which are run on a prime time network.
Click Farm - A supplier of fraudulent website traffic/visitors - typically an organized and exploited group of low-paid workers who are tasked to visit websites to post false reviews/comments or to click on PPC adverts so as to generate fraudulent clickthrough advertising revenues.
Clicklexia - Ironic computing slang for a user's tendency to double-click on items when a single click is required, often causing the window or utility to open twice.
Clicks And Mortar - Also known as Clicks and Bricks. Refers to businesses which trade on the Internet as well as having traditional retail outlets, such as shops.
Clickstream - A record of an internet user, including every web site and web page which have been visited, and e-mails sent and received.
Click-Through/Clickthrough/'Clickthru' - When a person clicks on an advertisement on a web page which takes them to the advertisers website. SeePPC.
Clip-Art - Ready made pictures of computerised graphic art which can be copied by computer users to add to their own documents.
Close Company - In the UK, a company which is controlled by five or less directors.
Code-Sharing - An arrangement between different airlines in which they all agree to carry passengers on the same flight using their own flight numbers.
Coercion - Forcing someone, by some method or other, to do something or abstain from doing something against their will.
Combined Ratio - In insurance, a way of measuring how much profit has been made by comparing the amount of money received from customers to the amount paid out in claims and expenses.
Commercial Monopoly - The control of a commodity or service by one provider in a particular market, virtually eliminating competition.
Commercial Paper - An unsecured and unregistered short-term agreement in which organizations can borrow money from investors who cannot take the assets from the organization if the loan is not repaid.
Commission - In finance, a payment based on percentage of transaction value, according to the local interpretation of value (e.g., based on total revenue, or gross profit, etc).
Commission Broker - A person who buys and sells shares, bonds, etc., on a commission basis on behalf of their clients.
Companies House - A government agency in the UK which is responsible for collecting and storing information about limited companies. The companies must file annual accounts or face penalties.
Comparative Advantage - See definition for Competitive Advantage.
Compensation Fund - A fund set up by a company or organisation from which to pay people who have suffered loss or hardship which has been caused employees or members of the company or organisation.
Competition Law - Known as Antitrust law in the US, regulates fair competition between companies, including the control of monopolies and cartels.
Competitive Advantage - A position a business gains over its competitors.
Competitor - A business rival, usually one who manufactures or sells similar goods and/or services.
Competitor Analysis - Also called Competitive Analysis. A company's marketing strategy which involves assessing the performance of competitors in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Compliance Officer - A corporate official whose job is to ensure that a company is complying with regulations, and that its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures.
Compound Interest - Interest which is calculated on not only the the initial loan, but also on the accumulated interest.
Compromise Agreement - Euphemism for a 'Gagging Clause'.
Compulsory Purchase - When an organisation has the legal right to force the sale of land, property, etc., usually to build motorways or railways.
Concept - A thought or notion. An idea for a new product, advertising campaign, etc.
Concierge - An employee of e.g. an hotel who provides a service to guests, such as handling luggage, delivering mail and messages, making tour reservations, etc.
Conciliation - To bring two disputing sides together to discuss the problem with the aim of reaching an agreement.
Concordance - In publishing, a concordance is an alphabetical list of the key words from a text showing their meanings. Concordances are rare in old large books because of the time and effort required to compile them, but more commonly arise in modern computer-generated applications. A concordance is a sort of cross-referenced index, but in (sometimes very much) more detail than the standard index of chapters and subjects typically shown before the main content. There are other more complex and different meanings of the word concordance relating to various technical applications (mathematics, genetics, etc) where often the meanings concern duality or cross-referencing of some sort.
Conditional Sale - A purchasing arrangement, usually where the buyer pays in instalments but does not become the legal owner of the goods until the full purchase price has been paid.
Conference Call - A telephone call which allows three or more people to take part at the same time.
Conflict of Interest - A much overlooked, under-estimated, yet highly prevalent factor in the execution of any responsibility or activity, where an organization/group/individual is subject to incompatible demands, opportunities, incentives, or responsibilities, etc., and especially where there is potential for one demand to distort the proper honest diligent execution of responsibility in achieving the second demand, i.e.., the incompatibility is competing and mutually unhelpful. A conflict of interest produces divided loyalties, for example where a person represents two different competing businesses, or an employee is responsible for managing family members or personal friends. Nepotismunavoidably involves a conflict of interest, regardless of intent. Politicians being paid to give advice to corporations also unavoidably involves a conflict of interest, even where there appears to be no direct connection between the politician's political responsibilities and the nature of the advice and corporate 'client'. In this respect, and elsewhere, denial of conflict of interest generally ignores the value and influence of indirect connections, obligations, 'quid-pro-quos', especially via friends and associates. Similarly where advisors work for a government or regulatory authority, and also have external commercial interests, there is always and unavoidably some conflict of interest. Any form of organizational self-regulation or self-investigation almost always entails a conflict of interest. Common commercial conflicts of interest arise where a provider is able to benefit in the supply of one service as a direct result from the provision of another related service and whose overall effect is typically to the disadvantage of the 'client' organization. Common examples of corporate or organizational conflict of interest may arise where a group/organization seeks to combine provision from the two lists below, where the second activity concerns the first. The lists are not exhaustive and offer merely very broad examples to illustrate the principle. Be sure to clarify context before making firm judgments:
giving service, training, product supply, setting prices, buying, selling, awarding contracts,
quality maintenance, specifying/selecting/regulation of service, accreditation of training,
investigation of faults/complainting, representing supplies, inspection/quality assessment
Conglomerate - A corporation which consists of several smaller companies with different business activities.
Conservator - In law, a guardian or protector appointed by a court to manage the affairs, finances, etc., of someone who is too ill or incapable of doing so themselves.
Consortium - A group of businesses, investors or financial institutions working together on a joint venture.
Constructive Spending - Helping the local economy by buying home produced goods, holidaying in your own country, etc., rather than buying imported goods and holidaying abroad.
Consultant - An expert who is paid by a company, individual, etc., to give advice on developing plans and achieving goals.
Consumer - An individual who uses goods and services but who may not have been the purchaser.
Consumer Credit - Also called Personal Credit or Retail Credit. Loans given to consumers by financial institutions for household or personal use.
Consumer Debt - Money owed by people in the form of loans from banks or purchase agreements from retailers, such as 'buy now pay later'.
Consumer Panel - A group of selected people, usually a cross-section of a population, whose purchasing habits are monitored by an organization, in order to provide feedback on products, services, etc., which are used.
Consumer Price - The price which the general public pays for goods and services.
Consumer Price Index - CPI. A measure of inflation which involves regularly monitoring the change in price for everyday goods and services purchased by households.
Consumer Protection - Laws which protect consumers against unsafe or defective products, deceptive marketing techniques, dishonest businesses, etc.
Consumer Watchdog - An independent organization that protects the rights of individual customers and monitors companies to check for illegal practices.
Consumption Tax - Tax paid which is based on the price of services or goods, e.g. value added tax.
Contango - A situation in which the price of a commodity to be delivered in the future exceeds the immediate delivery price, often due to storage and insurance costs.
Contingency Fee - In law, a fee that is payable to the lawyer out of any damages which have been awarded to the client by a court. There is no payment if the case is unsuccessful.
Contingent Liability - This is recorded as a debt on a company's accounts which may or may not be incurred, depending on the outcome of a future event, such as a court case.
Contraband - Goods prohibited by law from being exported or imported. Smuggling.
Contract Of Employment - A contract between an employee and an employer which specifies terms and conditions of employment, such as hours to be worked, duties to perform, etc., in return for a salary, paid benefits, paid holiday, etc., from the employer.
Contract Of Purchase - Also called Purchase Agreement. A legal document which states the terms and conditions, including price, of the sale of an item.
Contractor - An individual, company, etc., who agrees to provide goods and/or services to another individual or company under the terms specified in the contract.
Contract Worker - A person who is hired by a company (but not as an employee), often through an employment agency, for a specific period of time to work on a particular project.
Contra Entry - In accounting, an amount entered which is offset by another entry of the same value, i.e., a debit is offset by a credit.
Control Account - An account which a company keeps in addition to its official accounts, in order to cross-check balances, etc., to ensure that the official accounts are accurate.
Controlling Interest - The ownership of more than 50% of the voting shares in a company, which enables the owner of these shares to make decisions, direct operations, etc.
Convene - To gather together for an official or formal meeting.
Convention - A large formal meeting of politicians, members, delegates, sales people, etc.
Convertible - Refers to a security (bonds or shares) which can be exchanged for another type of security in the same company.
Convertible Currency - Currency which can be quickly and easily converted into other countries currencies.
Conveyancer - A specialist lawyer who is an expert in conveyancing, i.e., legal work carried out connected to the selling and buying of property.
Cookie - On a computer, coded information that an Internet website you have visited sends to your computer which contains personal information, such as identification code, pages visited, etc., so that the website can remember you at a later time.
Cooling-Off Period - A period of time after the exchange of contracts, purchasing agreements, etc., during which the purchaser can change their mind and cancel the contract, and usually get any deposit paid reimbursed.
Cooperative - An organisation or business which is owned and run by its employees, customers and/or tenants, who share the profits.
Cooperative Marketing - Also known as Cooperative Advertising. When two companies work together to promote and sell each others products. A manufacturer or distributor who supports, and often pays for, a retailers advertising.
Copyright - An exclusive legal right to make copies, publish, broadcast or sell a piece of work, such as a book, film, music, picture, etc.
Core Earnings - A company's revenue which is earned from its main operations or activities minus expenses, such as financing costs, asset sales, etc.
Corporate Advertising - Also called Institutional Advertising. Advertising that promotes a company's image, rather than marketing its products or services.
Corporate Governance - Corporate governance refers to the (ideally visible, transparent, published) policies and practices by which an organization is directed and managed at executive level, with particular focus on the executive board's accountabilities to shareholders and other stakeholders, especially concerning avoidance of risk, and the competence, ethics and propriety of the leadership, typically a chairman and board of directors. The board's corporate governance accountabilities include obligations and responsibilities in relation to organizational aims and purposes, and embrace major considerations of constitution and structure, finance and administration, people and staff, remuneration and reward, environment, ethics and morality, law and regulatory matters, quality and problem-rectification, health and safety, social responsibility, technology, processes and decision-making, legacy/sustainability, etc., and any other fundamental aspects of executive leadership and management which in the context of the organization's activities and constitution might be regarded as significant at the highest organizational level. The concept of 'corporate governance' became prominent and highly important in the late 1900s after several corporate scandals were characterized by a serious lack of accountability and transparency in the behaviour (US spelling: behavior) of company directors and senior staff. In short 'corporate governance' refers to how a (typically but not necessarily) large organization is led and managed at the most senior level. By implication, where corporate governance is correctly established and operated there is a cascading effect of high quality entirely throughout the organization (such that problems rarely arise, and wherever they do they are rectified satisfactorily and measures taken to ensure no repeat). Where corporate governance is poorly established and operated then the organization is prone to major failures of various sorts. Where corporate scandals and disasters occur then usually these events are due ultimately to inadequate or improper corporate governance. The terms 'whistleblowing/whistleblower'refer to the actions/people (typically employees) who inform authorities/media about corporate wrong-doing, which is very commonly a symptom or result of inadequate or weak corporate governance. The term corporate governance is most usually used in relation to large organizations, typically big public companies, because such organizations offer potentially huge hidden freedoms for directors to act secretly, recklessly and negligently, in ways which can have vast damaging impacts on staff, customers, shareholders, society, the environment, etc. Despite this original purpose and meaning (for quoted/public companies), the concept of corporate governance and its principles are also applicable with appropriate adaptation to state agencies, military/social/other state services, and small companies too. The root meanings of the words actually support a broad interpretation: corporate refers to any group; governance refers to the leadership of a group or other entity. ..
Corporate Hospitality - Entertainment provided by companies in order to develop good relationships with its employees, customers, other businesses, etc.
Corporate Ladder - The order of rank, position, etc., in a company from junior to senior, which can be progressed or 'climbed' by employees.
Corporate Raider - A term used for an individual or company who purchases large numbers of shares in other companies, against their wishes, in order to gain a controlling interest in the other companies, or to resell the shares for a large profit.
Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR. An obligation of a company to adhere to legal guidelines in order to meet the needs of its employees, shareholders and customers, and also to be concerned about social and environmental issues.
Corporate Veil - A term which refers to the fact that a company's shareholders are not liable for the company's debts, and are immune from lawsuits concerning contracts, etc.
Corporation - A large company or a group of companies which is legally authorised to act as a single entity, separate from its owners, with its liabilities for damages, debts, etc., limited to its assets so that its shareholders and owners are protected from personal claims.
Corporation Tax - A tax which limited companies and other organisations, such as societies, clubs, associations, etc., pay on their profits after adjustments for certain allowances.
Correspondence Course - A study course using written correspondence, books, etc., which are sent to you by post from learning institutes.
Corruption - Lack of honesty or integrity. Illegal behaviour, such as bribery, by people in positions of authority, e.g. politicians.
Cost Accounting - Managerial accounting which calculates, records and controls the operating costs of producing goods or services.
Cost-centre - Part of a business or organisation such as a marketing department, or quality assurance department, which is a cost to operations and does not produce external customer revenues or profit through trading. See Profit-centre, which trades with external customers and is responsible for producing profit.
Cost Control - A management process which ensures that departments within a company or organisation do not exceed their budget.
Cost Cutting - Reducing an individual's, company's, etc, expenditure.
Cost Effective - Producing a product, offering a service, etc., in the most economical way to the benefit of the company and the customer.
Cost Leader - A company which has a competitive advantage by producing goods or offering services at a lower cost than its competitors.
Cost Of Living - The standard cost of basic necessities which people need to live, such as food, housing and clothes.
Cost Of Living Allowance - COLA. A salary supplement which a company pays to employees because of an increase in the cost of living.
Cost Of Sales - Also known as Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS). The cost of providing a service or manufacturing a product, including labour, materials and overheads.
Cost Overrun - The amount by which the actual cost of a project, etc., exceeds the original budget.
Cost Per Click - CPC. The amount of money an advertiser pays to a website publisher every time a visitor clicks on an advert displayed on the publisher's website which links to the advertisers website.
Cost To Serve - An accounting/business/strategy term and method of analysis which calculates the total costs of product/service provision for a particular customer, or potentially for a broader customer grouping. This method of profitability analysis shifts all indirect costs to be directcosts (directly attributable, as used, per customer), and thereby enables greater clarity in assessing strategy and priorities than relying merely on gross margin indicators.
Cottage Industry - A small business in which production of goods or services are based in the home rather than in a factory or on business premises.
Counterbid - To make a higher offer than someone else in a bid to buy something.
Counterclaim - In a court of law, a claim made against you (plaintiff) by the person (defendant) you are making a claim against.
Counterpart - A person or position which has a corresponding function in a different organization, country, etc. The corresponding function naturally is also a counterpart. Also a copy of a legal document.
Countersign - To add a second signature, where required, to a document or cheque, in order to make it valid.
Countervailing Duty - An additional tax imposed on certain imported goods which have been produced very cheaply in their country of origin, in order to bring the price of the goods up to the true market price to protect the importing country's producers.
Courier - A person who carries and delivers messages, documents, packages, etc., often between companies. A person employed by a travel company as a tourist guide.
Courseware - Computer software designed to be used in teaching or for self-learning.
Covenant - A written promise, sometimes part of a contract, to perform, or not to perform, a particular action.
Cover Charge - A fixed fee charged by a nightclub or a restaurant with live entertainment, which covers, or part covers, the cost of musicians, DJs, etc.
Cowboy - A dishonest, often unqualified, business person, especially one who overcharges for bad quality work. Not to be confused with the cowboy of top-shelf publications.
CPI - Cost-Per-Impression (cost per view) - an advertising method/term, commonly used in online advertising, by which advertising costs are based on the number of times an advert is displayed or viewed. See also PPC/CPC (Pay per Click/Cost per Click)
Crapola - Items of little importance or poor quality. Rubbish.
Crawling Peg - A system of frequently adjusting a country's exchange rate by marginal amounts, because of inflation, etc.
Creative Director - A person who usually works in the advertising or entertainment industry and is responsible for planning and managing the creative aspects of an advertising or promotional campaign.
Credit - An arrangement in which an item for sale is received by the purchaser and paid for at a later date. A loan. The positive balance in a bank account. An amount entered in a company's accounts which has been paid by a debtor.
Credit Analysis - The process of analysing a company's financial records and assessing its ability to repay a loan, etc.
Credit Crunch - Also known as Credit Squeeze. This usually precedes a recession. A situation in which loans for businesses and individuals are difficult to obtain, when a government is trying to control inflation, because of the fear of bankruptcy and unemployment. The term 'Credit Crunch' also became a specific informal name for the 2008 global financial crisis and subsequent prolonged recession, which affected western economies particularly, mainly because of their highly leveraged and indebted nature, and the convoluted inter-dependent chains of credit arrangements between banks, some of which failed completely resulting in their effective nationalization or absorption into larger competitors.
Credit History - A record of an individual's or company's debt repayment, used by lenders to asses a borrowers ability to repay a loan, mortgage, etc.
Credit Rating Agency - this is fascinating and significant... a credit rating agency is a company which analyses and issues an official recognized assessment of the quality of a debt or debtor, including corporate, institutional or state debt or debt/credit products (specifically the reliability of repayment/recoverability), such as bonds and tradable securities (debts, equities, mortgages, and derivative complex financial credit contracts), and significantly also of organizations, bodies, and entire countries, by virtue of their credit-worthiness (ability to repay their debts). Ratings are visible, published and officially/internationally recognized, especially for countries. Ratings strongly influence interest rates applied to rated organizations, i.e., poor ratings mean that the low-rated organizations/bodies/nations are charged higher rates of interest by lenders, due to the higher perceived level of risk, and the overall market's response to the rating/risk. Conversely, positively-rated organizations/countries enjoy the lowest possible interest rates when borrowing. The same principle applies to debt products, mindful that many debt products are sold from one lender to another, commonly entailing seriously vast sums of money. Ratings are typically expressed on a scale of AAA ('triple A') as the top/best, which equates to the most reliable and secure debt/debtor, down through AA, A, BBB, BB, etc., to CCC with the lowest being C, although there are variations, including lower case letters, numbers, and + and - symbols. This is a highly significant, pivotal, and controversial area of corporate/global finance, economic management, extending to life and society, because:
•The sums of money involved/affected by these ratings are extremely big (multi-billions) so there is a lot at stake, for corporations, countries, bankers, brokers, and for societies too. •While there are hundreds of small credit rating agencies, historically the market is dominated by just three of them, namely Standard and Poor; Moody's, and Fitch ('The Big Three'), which between them control (at 2013) c.95% of the global market (in ratings and related services, significantly at the highest levels of national and corporate debt/credit). •The credit rating industry is inherently and worryingly liable to major conflict of interest because agencies provide important and high-value advisory services to the same organizations whose products the agencies assess, along with rating the client organizations themselves. There is also huge potential for conflict of interest and corruption on a vast scale because credit ratings affect interest rates and transactions entailing monumental sums of money, and so there is unlimited temptation and opportunity for incestuous deals between the rate-fixers and those who trade in credit and debt, and financial investments and speculation generally.
Sadly, as with much else that happens in the financial sector across the globe, combinations of conflict of interest, extreme 'product' complexity, corporate and personal incentive and greed, together with a lack of sufficient regulation and transparency, tend to produce very big outcomes, trends and economical effects that can be arbitrary, distorted, extremely polarized, so that a few powerful people/organizations/entities achieve massive gains and advantages, while others, especially those in weak positions, suffer massive disadvantages. It is an interesting point of note that despite enormous reliance on credit ratings agencies at the level of global corporations and national governments, credit rating agencies can make large misjudgments, as when for example very positive ratings were given to highly toxic derivative mortgages/debts products whose collapse and virtual irrecoverable value led mainly or substantially to the 2008 global financial disintegration and following recesssion. As at 2103 at least one of the 'big three' credit agencies is subject to legal action by the US authorities in this connection. Along with banking and accountancy the credit ratings sector is likely to undergo major changes during the first quarter of the 21st century.
Creditor - A person, business, etc., to whom money is owned.
Credit Rationing - When a bank or money lender limits the amount of funds available to borrowers, or interest rates are very high.
Credit Rating - Information (based on interpretation by an official credit rating agency or similar financial services data provider) of a person's or company's or other entity's financial history and circumstances, which assesses and indicates their ability to repay debts, loans, etc. Lenders use this information when making a decision regarding a loan approval, and in larger cases will adjust levels of interest and other financial credit terms according to the perceived risk of the loan situation and client, which may be an individual or a whole country or international federation.
Credit Repair - The process of helping to improve a person or company's credit rating, sometimes by disputing or correcting credit history discrepancies.
Credit Union - A financial institution, similar to a bank, whose members create the funds from which they can obtain loans at low rates of interest.
Crib - Plagiarism. To copy someone else's written work and pass it off as your own.
Crisis Management - Actions taken by a company to deal with an unexpected event which threatens to harm the organisation, such as a loss of a major customer, bad publicity, etc.
Criterion - A principal or standard by which other things or people may be compared, or a decision may be based.
Critical Mass - The minimum amount of customers, resources, etc., needed to maintain or start a business, venture, etc. The point at which change occurs e.g., when a company is able to continue in business and make a profit without any outside help.
Cronyism - In business and politics, showing favouritism to friends and associates by giving them jobs or appointments with no regard to their qualifications or abilities.
Crowdfunding - A method of funding and underpinning a project or business venture which became increasingly popular and visible in the 21st century, whereby users or other interested people are involved as investors at project inception, and therefore agree and commit to support a development of one sort or another. A good example of crowdfunding is the raising capital and support from a local community for the construction of nearby wind turbines, which generally otherwise encounter local hostility instead of support. The concept of crowdfunding provides a clear illustration of the benefit of involving people as stakeholders, rather than positioning people as 'reluctant customers' or obstacles to be confronted and overcome. See 'Crowdsourcing', which like 'Crowdfunding' embodies similar progressive, open, inclusive, non-authoritarian management philosophy.
Cross Guarantee - Also known as Inter Company Guarantee. A guarantee by a group of companies to be responsible for the debts, etc., of another company in the group if it fails to repay them. The group also use the guarantee to raise capital or take out multiple loans.
Cross Merchandising - Also known as Add-On Sales. In retailing, the practice of putting related products together on display in order to encourage customers to purchase several items.
Crowdsourcing - Term first coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 in Wired magazine. Crowdsourcing refers to an organisation, group or individual delegating a task to a large number of people via the internet, thereby using the general public or a community of followers, users, experts, etc., to do research, make suggestions, solve a problem, etc., usually without being paid. Their reward is mainly a sense of ownership and real involvement, which is proven to be a very powerful and meaningful force for motivation. (See the theories of Herzberg and McGregor, or at a glance the diagram illustrating XY-Theory.) Crowdsourced projects can be very big indeed. Wikipedia is effectively built and maintained using crowdsourcing. The term is a 'semi-portmanteau' in that it combines the words crowd and outsourcing. See also Crowdfunding.
Crown Jewel - The most valuable and profitable asset of a company or business.
C-Suite - The Chief Officers or most senior executives in a business or organisation.
Cube Farm - An open office which is divided into cubicles.
Culpability - Blame or liability for harm or damage to others, from Latin culpa meaning fault.
Currency Bloc - A group of countries that use the same currency, for example the Euro.
Current Account - A bank account which can be used to make deposits, withdrawals, cash cheques, pay bill, etc.
Current Assets - Also called Liquid Assets. A company's cash or assets which can be converted into cash usually within one year, including shares, inventory, etc.
Current Liability - In business, a liability or debt which must be paid within one year from the time of the initial transaction.
Current Ratio - A financial ratio which gives an indication of whether or not a company can pay its short-term debts.
Customer - An individual, company, etc., who purchases goods and/or services from other individuals, companies, stores, etc.
Customer Loyalty - Describes when a customer prefers to buy a particular brand or type of product, who prefers a particular shop, or who stays with the same company, such as a bank, insurance company, phone company, etc.
Customer Relations - The relationship a company has with its customers and the way it deals with them. The department in a company which is responsible for dealing with its customers, for example complaints, etc.
Customs Duty - A tax which must be paid on imported, and sometimes exported, goods, to raise a country's revenue and to protect domestic industries from cheaper foreign competition.
Customs Union - A group of nations which have agreed to promote free trade, for example, not to charge tax on goods which they trade with one another, and to set taxes for nations which are not members of the group.
Cutover - Also known as 'Going Live'. The point in time a company or organisation, etc., replaces an old program or system with a new one.
Cut-Throat - Ruthless and intense competition. An unprincipled, ruthless person.
Cyber Monday - In recent times, the busiest online shopping day of the year, in the USA typically the Monday after Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November); in the UK typically the first Monday in December.
Cyberspace - Term credited to author William Gibson in 1984 which describes the imaginary place where e-mails, web pages, etc., go to while they are being sent between computers.
Cybersquatting - The illegal activity of buying and registering a domain name which is a well-known brand or someone's name, with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner in order to make a profit.
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