Financial Glossary – J

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J-Curve – refers to the trend of a nation’s trade balance immediately after a devaluation under a specific set of assumptions. The trade balance initially worsens after the devaluation. After a while, the desired effect – greater exports and reduced imports – starts to kick in. J-curves also exist when calculating returns and losses on private equity. The Davies J-Curve shows that social unrest occurs when an unexpected recession is preceded by many years of economic growth and high expectations.

Jet Lag – a temporary disorder travelers experience after a flight across time zones. We also call it flight fatigue, desynchronosis, jet lag disorder, and circadian dysrhythmia. Symptoms include sleepiness, insomnia, mood swings, generally feeling unwell, and stomach problems.

Job – this word has many meanings: 1. A part-time or full-time position of paid employment. 2. The execution or performance of a task, as in ‘He did a terrible job!’ 3. A duty or responsibility. 4. A specific task carried out as part of the routine of a person’s occupation. 5. A piece of work, generally at an agreed price. 6. A robbery, as in ‘John Smith is suspected of being responsible for the string of bank jobs in South London’.

Job Action – or industrial action is an organized protest by workers. It may come in the form of a slowdown, overtime ban, work-to-rule, or even a strike. Some dictionaries say the term includes going on strike while others say it does not. Americans and Canadians say ‘job action’ while the rest of the English-speaking world uses the term ‘industrial action.’

Job Aids – devices or tools that we use to help us complete a job. For example, an instruction manual that tell you how to assemble an item of IKEA furniture is a job aid. A recipe that tells you how to prepare a meal is also a job aid. A corkscrew, however, is not a job aid because does not tell you how to do something.

Job Analysis – a process that carefully examines a job and determines what its duties are and who is best suited to do it. Duties are also placed in order of importance, including what the consequences of errors might be.

Job Characteristics Theory – also called the Core Characteristics Model, is a work design theory developed forty years ago. It is widely used today as a framework to study how matched an employee is to his or her job, and if job redesign is required, how to go about it. The aim is to reduce job dissatisfaction, minimize absenteeism and turnover, increase motivation, and ultimately optimize the productivity of the worker.

Job Description – a written account of the duties and responsibilities involved in a particular job. The description also includes the job title, details on the salary, who the person reports to, and required qualifications or skills. Job descriptions accompany job ads when an employer is seeking candidates.

Jobless Recovery – when an economic recovery following a recession does not also come with a decline in unemployment. In other words, GDP is growing but unemployment is either stubbornly high or rising. Economists say this could be due to lingering caution, automation, or workers moving into new jobs or industries. We also call this phenomenon jobless growth.

Job Satisfaction – the pleasure employees get from doing their job. We also call it employee satisfaction. There are many different ways of determining levels of job satisfaction.

Job Shop – a small business, typically a manufacturing unit, that makes bespoke products. In other words, it tailor-makes things for one customer at a time. Job shops deal in customization.

Joint Probability – a statistic that analysts and statistician use to determine the likelihood of simultaneous events. Joint probability specifically refers to the likelihood of two or more events happening at the same time. For example, if I roll two dice, what are the chances of getting two sixes?

Joint-Stock Company – a company that belongs to its shareholders. Shareholders are free to buy and sell the shares. However, the term has a different meaning in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the UK, shareholders have limited liability. In the US, shareholders of a joint-stock company have unlimited liability.

Joint Supply – a term used in economics that refers to a product that turns into two or more other products (by-products). For example, a farmer breeds cattle, which eventually are sold to consumers as a number of different product, such as beef, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and leather products.

Joint Venture – a partnership between two or more parties that each contribute capital and assets. The parties involved may be groups of people, corporations, companies and even governments.

Journal – may mean a diary, a place where accountants record a company’s transactions, or the minutes of parliamentary meetings. In mechanical engineering it sometimes means a shaft. Academic journals are magazines or newspapers that specialize in particular disciplines.

Jumbo Mortgage – a mortgage loan that offers more than a conventional loan. It does not have the same rules and limits imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compared to a conventional loan. Most jumbo mortgages charge higher interest rates than conventional loans.

Junk Bonds – high-yield bonds that have a higher risk of default than investment-grade bonds. Companies with no track record and small businesses, if they need money, issue junk bonds. Blue chip companies issue investment grade bonds.

Junk Mail – mail that we receive but did not request. In other words, unsolicited mail. The term may apply to physical mail or electronic mail. Spam has the same meaning as junk mail, but just in the digital world.

Jurisdiction – the power that a court or official has to enforce laws. It is also the power a court has to carry out legal judgments. There are many different types of jurisdictions. Some grant authority over a person, for example, while others over a subject matter.

Jurisprudence – the philosophy of law. The science of law. We also call it legal theory. It is the study of the principles and theories on which all our legal systems are founded.

Jus Sanguinis – a legal system where people’s nationality is determined by their parents’ citizenship rather than where they were born. The term is Latin for ‘law of blood.’ It contrasts with jus soli, a legal system in which where people are born determines their nationality.

Jus Soli – a law that states that you assume the nationality of the country where you were born. Jus Solis is Latin for law of soil. It contrasts with Jus Sanguini, i.e., law of blood, which says that our parents’ nationalities determine our nationality.

Justice – the term refers to moral rightness, fairness, and the system of law. It includes the enforcement of a country’s law, i.e., punishing people who break the law. A justice is also a judge in a high court.

Justice of the Peace – a lay judicial officer who hears and determines minor offense charges and conserves peace. In this context, ‘lay’ means they are not professional lawyers. We also call them magistrates. They also perform wedding ceremonies, administer oaths, sign search and arrest warrants, and take statutory declarations.

Just in Case – also known as JIC or Just in Case Manufacturing, is the traditional inventory and/or production management model used by companies. Levels of stock of finished goods and raw materials are maintained at the highest levels possible. The aim of this strategy is to be prepared for unexpected events, such as a very large order or a halt in supplies. It is the opposite of Just in Time.

Just in Time – an inventory or manufacturing strategy in which companies keep stock levels at an absolute minimum. As orders come in, suppliers are contacted to make immediate deliveries of the raw materials and components required for manufacturing finished products. It is the opposite of Just in Case. Japanese car-maker Toyota started ‘just in time’ in the 1960s – it was known as the Toyota Production System. North America and Western Europe began adopting the strategy in the late 1970s.

Just-World Phenomenon – a human tendency to believe that we get what we deserve. If something bad happens to somebody, we believe that a past deed is catching up with them. We look for ways to rationalize away injustice by believing it was the victim’s fault. We also call it the just-world hypothesis.