R-Value/U-Value - Refers to insulation effectiveness in buildings, and to materials used in construction. Either term may be used. U-Value is the reciprocal of R-Value. The higher the R-Value the better the insulation. The lower the U-Value, the better the insulation.
Race Relations Act - A British government Act, introduced in 1976, making it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their colour, race, nationality or ethnic origin.
Race To The Bottom - A phrase said to be coined by US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. A situation in which competition between nations could result in lower standards, cheaper wages, poorer working conditions, etc.
Racketeer - A person who makes money through illegal business or crime, such as extortion, bribery, fraud, etc.
Rack Rate - The full price of something before discounts have been offered, especially hotel rooms.
R&D - Research and Development. Investigative work carried out by a business to improve and develop products and processes.
Raid - On the Stock Exchange, a situation where an individual or company makes a hostile bid to take over another company by buying a controlling interest in the company's shares.
RAID - Redundant Array of Independent Disks. On a computer, a way of storing data by spreading it across multiple disks, therefore providing greater security, faster access, etc.
Rainmaker - An employee, often an executive, who brings a lot of business and income to a company.
RAM - Random Access Memory. In computing, the place where current data is stored while a computer is being used. The data is removed when the computer is switched off.
Random Sample - Often used in research, a method of sampling members of a large group, such as a population, in which everyone has an equal chance of being selected.
Rank And File - The ordinary members of a group, such as enlisted troops in an army, or members of a union, who have no power.
Rat - Slang term for an informer, or to inform, typically for personal gain. Rat is also a verb, meaning to inform or betray.
Rate of Return - The amount of profit or loss generated by an investment, expressed as a percentage of the total sum invested.
Rate Card - A printed list of charges and details regarding advertising costs on television, radio, websites, newspapers, etc.
Ratify - To sanction formally. Validate an agreement with a vote or signature.
Rating Agency - A company which assesses and rates businesses on their credit-worthiness and/or their ability to repay debts.
Ratings Point - The measure of a size of an audience, i.e., one point equals one per cent of all households watching a television program or listening to a radio station at a particular time.
Ratio Analysis - A study of a company's financial statements which show the relationships between items listed on a balance sheet and gives an indication as to whether the company can meet its current obligations.
Rat Race - The exhausting, competitive struggle and routine of working and living in a large town or city.
Reactive Marketing - Describes when companies or businesses wait for customers to contact them in order to buy their products or services.
Ready-To-Wear - Describes clothing that is produced in standard sizes and designs and sold as finished products in retail outlets.
Real Estate - Also called Realty. Property consisting of land with permanent structures on it, such as buildings, walls, fences, etc.
Real Time - In computing, systems which receive information and update it at the same time.
Ream - 500 sheets of paper. A large quantity of written material.
Rebadge - To change the name , brand or logo of an existing product or business, especially cars.
Reboot - To switch a computer off and restart it again immediately.
Rebrand - Change the name, packaging, etc., of an existing product or business and advertise it as new and improved.
Recall - To ask customers to return a product which they have bought because it has been found to be faulty or dangerous.
Recapitalise - To put more money into a business, often one which is facing bankruptcy. To reorganise a company's capital structure by exchanging preferred stock for bonds, usually to reduce taxes.
Receivables - Shown as assets on a balance sheet, money which is owed to a company by customers who have purchased goods or services on credit.
Receiver - An independent person appointed by a court to manage and control the finances, property, etc., of a bankrupt company, who usually sells the company's assets in order to pay the creditors.
Recession - The decline of the economy of a country (or other region) over a period of time, resulting in increased unemployment, reduced productivity, reduced GDP (Gross Domestic Product), falling household income and livings standards, etc. Different nations and financial institutions, bodies, etc., have different definitions of a recession. Many economists and business commentators use the term very loosely without regard to a particular definition, other than it being a period of economic contraction with related factors. A common official definition at national/governmental level is broadly that a recession is: "Two consecutive quarters (i.e., total 6mths) of 'negative growth' (or contraction or reduction) in GDP (Gross Domestic Product)". Aside from the euphemistically unhelpful term 'negative growth' (used by UK governments notably) this definition of recession is open to debate because it is calculated over such a short period and is therefore very finely balanced. This definition tends to increase instances of 'double-dip' or 'triple-dip' recessions (i.e., two or three recessions in very close succession, according to this particular definition of 'recession') when in fact many such 'ups and downs' may be due to seasonal effects and adjustments rather than being actually different recessions. By more general (and some would say sensible and realistic) definitions of a recession, a 'double-dip' or 'triple dip' recession may instead be plainly and simply one long recession, and is historically seen as such. See recession shapes below.
Recession Shape - A common way to describe a recession, in terms of how the recession appears in a graph of GDP movement over time. 'Shapes' are mostly letter-shapes (V, W, U, etc). Here are the most common recession shapes:
•V-shaped recession - The simplest shape and basic form of recession, namely a broadly straight-lined angled decline to a trough or lowest point, followed by a relatively quick 'bounce' upwards again in a straight-lined angled rise back to the pre-recession level. •U-shaped recession - Like the V-shaped recession but with a longer period at the lowest point. Alternatively called a 'Bathtub Curve'. •W-shaped recession - Also called a double-dip recession, essentially characterized by a recession whose recovery is interrupted by a further decline into recession, before final recovery. •L-shaped recession - A recession which fails to recover for a very long period, typically ten years or longer, or indefinitely, i.e., pre-recession levels of GDP and GDP growth are not seen again for many decades. Also, where extremely severe an L-shaped recession might more traditionally be called adepression. The Japanese recession of the 1990s is gererally regarded as an example of an L-shaped recession. The recessions in the US and large parts of Europe following the 2007/8 global financial crisis might easily be interpreted as similarly long-term and ominously L-shaped recessions. •WW-shaped recession - A recession which lurches from recovery back into recession several times, which given the implication of the need for such a term, contains more ups and downs than a triple-dip recession. As with many of the terms referring to types of recessions, the need for the terminology is produced more by finely balanced definitions of a recession, rather than the ups and downs of economic performance, which are generally happening anyway whether in growth or recession. It's all a matter of degree; i.e., where recessions are defined by very tiny degrees of contraction (as happens in modern times), then 'multiple dip' and convoluted letter-shaped terminology tend to be used more frequently. •J-shaped recession - This shape unusually and optimistically refers to a recession which recovers into a boom or period of high growth, i.e., the level of GDP immediately beyond recovery continues to increase strongly and substantially above pre-recesssion levels for a period exceeding the duration of the recession. This sort of recessionary recovery might be fuelled by technology innovation, or discovery and exploitation of new natural resources, etc. •Inverted Square Root Sign-shaped recession - Otherwise technically the 'inverted radical symbol-shaped' recession, this term, apparently coined by financier George Soros, is very rarely used, and is included here mainly for curiosity. It refers to an L-shaped recession containing a small bounce (partial initial recovery) before a prolonged or indefinite period of depressed/recessionary-level economic conditions. Confusingly an inverted radical sign, with or without the long horizontal overline, seems not to fit the effect Soros described. A reverse tick or check sign is more apt.
Reciprocal - Loosley meaning 'in return', based on the stricter mathematical sense of the word, found in financial and scientific theories, where reciprocal refers to the number or fraction which when multiplied by a specified other number or fraction will produce the number one. For example a half is the reciprocal of the number two; and a fifth is the reciprocal of the number five. The word derives from Latin 're' (back) and 'pro' (forward).
Reciprocal Trade/Trading - Exchange of product or services. A simple example might be an accountant providing book-keeping services to a telemarketing company which in return performs telemarketing services on behalf of the accountant.
Reciprocity - Based on the notion of mutuality or return in the term 'reciprocal', reciprocity means give-and-take, such as to achieve a mutually agreeable balance.
Recognition Test - Also known as Readership Test. A test carried out after people have read a newspaper, magazine, etc., to see if they have remembered or read a particular advertisement.
Record Date - A date set by a company by which an investor must be recorded as owning shares in order to qualify to receive dividends and be able to vote at a shareholders meeting.
Recorded Delivery - A postal system for which an extra fee is charged in addition to postage. The sender is given a receipt at the time of posting and the recipient signs a form to confirm delivery.
Recruit - To seek employees for a business or organisation. To enlist military personnel.
Red Bag - A UK legal profession tradition in which a red fabric bag, to contain a barister's robes, is presented to a junior lawyer by a Queen's Counsel (QC) for recognition of good work in an important case.
Red-Circling - The practice of protecting the salary of employees whose jobs have been downgraded because of the restructuring, etc., of the company.
Red Ink - Term used when referring to a company's financial loss.
Redundancy - A situation in which an employer intends to cease business, so therefore the workforce lose their jobs, or an employee is made redundant because their job no longer exists in the company they work for. Employees in these situations often qualify for redundancy pay.
Reference - A letter/statement written about a person by someone who knows them, detailing their abilities, character, qualifications, etc., which is sent to a prospective employer.
Refer To Drawer - In the UK, a phrase used by banks when someone's account does not have sufficient funds to clear a cheque which they have written, or the cheque has been written incorrectly.
Registered Capital - Also called Authorised Capital. The maximum value of shares which a company can legally issue.
Registered Company - In the US, a company which has filed an SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registration, and may issue new shares. In the UK, a company which is listed on the Companies Register as a limited private company, a public limited company, or an unlimited company.
Registered Trademark - A distinctive symbol, name, etc., on a product or company, which is registered and protected by law so it cannot legally be used by anyone else.
Registrar - A person in a company or organisation who is in charge of official records.
Registration Statement - In the US, a legal document containing details about a company's activities, financial status, etc., which must be submitted to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) before the company can issue shares.
Reference Pricing - A very widely used and highly controversial marketing/ advertising/ promotional tactic, by which a selling company advertises a product (or less commonly a service) at a (usually heavily) discounted price compared to a (typically unfeasibly high) previous selling price, commonly described by the seller as the 'usual' or 'normal' price (the 'reference price'). For (real) example a major supermarket chain advert/packaging offer: "Strawberries - normal price £3.99 - NOW HALF-PRICE AT JUST £1.99!!" when in fact the strawberries were on sale in one branch at the high £3.99 'reference price' for just one week, and the 'reduced' price is available generally and for several months in all other branches (Tesco was fined £300,000 for this breach of trading standards in 2013). The practice of reference pricing when it is a genuine reduction is perfectly legitimate, however in very many situations the tactic is used cynically and misleadingly, particularly in consumer marketing by major retailers, notably in groceries, homeware, electricals, computers, furniture, etc. The domestic furniture/sofa/bed/carpets retail sectors are traditionally deeply committed to reference pricing tactics which commonly breach legal and ethical trading standards. The misleading use of reference pricing is an example of poorly developed and/or inadequately operated Corporate Governance.
Reinsurance - The practice of sharing insurance risk among several insurance companies, in case of major disasters such as floods, hurricanes, etc.
Remunerate - To pay a person for services rendered, goods, losses incurred, etc.
Renewal Notice - An advanced notice of payment required to renew insurance cover, subscription, etc., by a certain date.
Rental Fleet - Cars, vans, etc., which a business leases from a vehicle leasing company for its workers to use, usually sales teams, executives, service engineers, etc.
Reporting Line - In a business or organisation, employees, managers, etc., who report to the next person higher up, usually their boss.
Repossess - To take back property, goods, etc., usually from an individual or organisation who has failed to repay a loan or has defaulted on a repayment plan.
Repudiate - Refusal to perform a contractual duty or repay a debt.
Requisition - An official written request or demand for something.
Rescind - To make void or cancel, for example a law or contract.
Research - The gathering of information, facts, data, etc., about a particular subject.
Reserve Currency - A foreign currency which is permanently held by a country's central bank, and is used for international transactions.
Reserve Price - The lowest fixed price at which a seller will sell an item at auction. If the bidding does not reach the reserve price then the item is not sold unless the highest bidder comes to an arrangement with the seller.
Residual Income - Part of a person's income which is left over after taxes and living expenses, for example mortgage, bills, etc., have been deducted.
Residual Value - Also Called Salvage Value. The market value of an asset which is no longer in use or has reached the end of its useful life.
Resource Allocation - The process of assigning available finances, materials, labour, etc., to a project.
Restitution - Money paid by an offender in compensation for loss, damages or injury. To give something back to its rightful owner.
Restrictive Practice - A trading agreement between businesses or industries which prevents free competition. The practice of workers, often trade unions, of protecting their jobs in a manner which limits the freedom of other workers.
Restriction of Trade - An aspect of business and employment law referring to the unfair/unlawful limiting of a person's right to earn a living, or to pursue a legitimate occupation.
Resume - A written summary of a person's education, employment record, qualifications, etc., which is often submitted with a job application.
Retail Banking - Also called Consumer Banking. Banking services provided directly to the public, such as savings accounts, credit/debit cards, mortgages, etc.
Retailer - A business or individual who sells products or services directly to the customer.
Retail Investor - Also called Small Investor. An individual who buys and sells shares, etc., for themselves, usually in small quantities.
Retail Park - Usually situated on the outskirts of a large town, a large retail development consisting of shops, stores, car parking, and often cinemas and restaurants.
Retail Price Index - RPI. An inflation indicator, usually calculated on a monthly basis, reflected in the retail price of everyday goods, such as food, fuel, fares, etc.
Retail Therapy - Shopping which is done for enjoyment and to relieve stress.
Retained Earnings - The earnings of a business or company which is used for reinvestment, rather than being distributed to shareholders as dividends.
Retained Profits - A business profit, after tax and dividend payments to shareholders, which is retained by the business and often used for reinvestment.
Retainer - A fee paid in advance to someone, such as a lawyer, to engage their services as and when they are required.
Retrench - To cut down on spending, economise, for example to reduce a workforce.
Return On Assets - ROA. Net income divided by total cost or value of assets. The more expensive a company's assets, the less profit the assets will generate.
Return On Capital Employed - ROCE. A company's financial indicator which compares earnings with the company's capital investments.
Return On Investment - ROI. Also known as Rate Of Return. The percentage of profit earned by an investment in a business, etc.
Revenue Stamp - A stamp or sticker which is put on an item, for example a packet of cigarettes, as proof that a government tax has been paid.
Reverse Auction - A type of auction in which there are several sellers and only one buyer. The buyer usually purchases the goods or service from the seller who offers the lowest price.
Reverse Billing - A payment method used for messaging on mobile phones in which the recipient pays for the text message.
Reverse Merger - When a private company acquires the majority of a public company's shares, therefore enabling the private company to get a public listing on the stock exchange.
Revolving Credit - A type of credit agreement, e.g., a credit card, in which a person is given a specified credit limit which can be paid in full or in part, usually on a monthly basis. If the amount owing is paid in full in the first month then usually no interest is charged. When the full credit limit has been reached a payment must be made before the credit card can be used again.
Rider - An attachment which makes amendments or provisions to an original contract or official document. In the entertainment industry, a rider is a list of demands made by a performer, usually before a show, sometimes including particular foods and drinks, hotels and transport, free tickets for friends and family, etc.
Rights Issue - The issuing of new shares which are offered to a company's existing shareholders at a fixed price, usually lower than the market price.
Risk - In business, especially insurance, the amount of money a company stands to lose, or the threat of an action or event which will have an adverse effect on a business.
Roaming - A service which enables a person to connect to the Internet, or use their mobile phone, while they are travelling.
Rogue Trader - A stockbroker who makes unauthorised, usually high risk, trades on behalf of their employer, often resulting in huge losses.
Rolling Contract - A contract which runs for a specific period of time and continues to be renewed for further periods, subject to review.
Roll-On Roll-Off - Ro-Ro. In the UK, describes ferries which vehicles can be driven onto at one end and driven off at the other end on reaching their destination.
Round Lot - Also called Normal Trading Unit. A block of shares, usually 100, which is traded on the Stock Market.
Route 128 - Also known as Yankee Division Highway. A highway encircling Boston , Massachusetts, which is associated with the technology industry.
Router - A device which connects at least two computer networks and sends data from one to the other.
Royalty - A fee paid for the use of another person's property, for example a copyrighted work, a patent, a franchise, etc. A payment made to a writer, composer or singer when a book, CD or performance of their work is sold. A share of the profit paid to the owner of the land which an oil or mining company is leasing.
RSI - Repetitive Strain/Stress Injury. Damage caused to hands, arms and neck due to continual computer use, or by repetitive movements while performing a task.
Rubber Cheque - A cheque which bounces, due to insufficient funds in the account of the person who wrote the cheque for it to be cleared by the bank.
Running Cost - The day to day running costs of a business, for example wages, rent, utilities, etc.
Run Of Network - RON. Describes when an advertisement is placed on any page on one or more websites and the advertisers have no say where their advert is placed, usually because the advertising rates are cheaper.
Rush Hour - The peak periods at the beginning and end of the day, usually longer than an hour, when people are travelling to and from work.
Russell 2000 Index - Published by the Russell Company, an index which tracks the performance of 2000 smaller companies in the US.
Rust Belt - Also called The Manufacturing Belt. In the US, an area which contains many old, unmodernised factories, such as steel works, many of which are now closed or not very profitable.
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