Financial Glossary – E


Earmark – 1. To put aside money for a specific project in the future. 2. A Congressional directive in the United States to spend money on a project. 3. To mark the ear of an animal to indicate ownership or identity. The word may be either a noun or a verb.

Earn – to receive payment for work that we have done. If you work 40 hours you will earn more than if you work just 20 hours. We also use the term when we gain other things from people. For example, we can earn somebody’s respect, affection, or esteem.

Earning Power – a business’ ability to generate profit. We can also use the term for a person, i.e., their ability to generate income. Investors calculate companies’ earning power before deciding where to place their money. We calculate earning power by dividing operating income by total assets.

Earnings – the profit that a company generates over a specific period (usually over a quarter (three calendar months) or a year).

Earnings Per Share (EPS) – the amount of profit a company allocates to every outstanding share of common stock. A business’ total profits, minus dividends, divided by the total number of common stock.

Easement – the right to do something with or on another person’s land. For example, if my land is completely landlocked, I need to drive over my neighbor’s land to get to the road. If I have permission to do this, I have an ‘easement.’ There are many types of easements.

Easy Monetary Policy – a central bank policy of low interest rates. When economic growth is sluggish, central banks may reduce interest rates to boost economic growth. When interest rates decline, people and companies borrow more. They subsequently spend more, which helps GDP growth.

EBITDA – an acronym for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, i.e. Revenue minus Expenses (excl. interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

E-Book – an E-Book is an electronic copy of a printed book that can be read on the screen of a computer, mobile device, tablet, or dedicated e-reader.

Echo Bubble – a small bubble that follows a major bubble. When there is a stock market crash, we say that the bubble has burst. Sometimes, there is a premature recovery. Investors get excited and markets rise. However, it is short-lived. That second bubble also bursts, and markets fall again. We call that second bubble an echo bubble. We can use the term for the economy too.

E-Cigarette – also called an e-cig, vape pen, or e-hookah, is a non-smoking nicotine delivery device. The user inhales a vaporized solution or aerosol, which commonly has nicotine in it. Studies have shown that it is healthier not to vape or smoke, but vaping, i.e., using e-cigs, is less dangerous than tobacco smoking.

Eclectic Paradigm – a business approach that determines whether it is good for a company to engage in foreign direct investment. The paradigm looks at three potential advantages: ownership, location, and internalization.

E-Commerce – a business model that focuses on doing commercial transactions online, i.e., on the Internet. E-commerce stands for Electronic Commerce.

Ecommerce Marketing – the process of promoting awareness of a brand’s online store offerings through a variety of different marketing channels.

Eco-Efficiency – a management philosophy that many companies across the world have adopted. It involves getting more production from fewer resources and consuming less energy. In other words, being an efficient company but at the same time an environmentally-friendly one.

Ecological Impact – the effect that either a natural event or phenomenon or human activity has on organisms and their non-living environment. In other words, what effects things like volcanic eruptions or traffic pollution have on creatures that live and where they live.

Ecological Indicator – an organism that tells us about the state or condition of our ecosystem. An ecological indicator may tell us about air pollution or biodiversity. It is a collective term for stressor indicators, exposure, and habitat response.

Ecological Load – the demands and stresses that organisms place on ecosystems. Human demands, for example, are food and water. Pollution is an example of stress.

Ecology – the study of how organisms, i.e., living things, interact with one another and also their physical environment. It is a branch of biology. In politics, ecology is a movement that strives to protect our environment.

Econometrics – the application of statistical methods and mathematics to describe economic systems and test economic hypotheses. It turns theoretical economic models into tools that
politicians and other policymakers can use.

Economic Activity – includes producing, purchasing, distributing, or selling goods and services. Economic activities exist at all levels, from Primary to Quaternary levels. Any activity involving money or the exchange of goods or services is an economic activity.

Economic Analysis – an assessment or examination of issues or topics from the perspective of an economist. It is the study of economic systems or a specific industry. Some analyses aim to determine whether a company is functioning profitably or whether a project is feasible. There are many different types of economic analyses.

Economic Assumptions – a set of assumptions that a company makes about the future economic situation. Economists and statisticians also make economic assumptions when they build economic models.

Economic Base – entities that employ lots of people locally and sell products or services to outside consumers or companies. A factory that employs lots of workers and sells to businesses or consumers outside the local area form part of the economic base. We also refer to them as basic industries.

Economic Benefit – a benefit that we can quantify in monetary terms, i.e., money terms. For example, net income is an economic benefit, as are profits, net cash flow, and revenues. An economic benefit for a nation could be job creation or more tax income for the government.

Economic Bubble – also known as a price bubble or a market bubble, an economic bubble happens when securities are traded at much higher prices than what they are intrinsically worth.

Economic Capital – how much risk capital a financial institution should have so that it can survive market or credit shocks. The amount is determined by the company itself or its shareholders.

Economic Climate – the general state of the economy, i.e., economic conditions. The term may refer to the local, national, regional, or global economy. It may focus on the jobs market, stock market, the availability of credit, and levels of investment.

Economic Census – a program that some nations have in which they publish a directory of business statistics. The United States Economic Census, for example, comes out every five years. India’s on the other hand, comes out from every five to ten years, i.e., the intervals change.

Economic Cost – the accounting cost plus opportunity cost, i.e. how much doing something costs in money terms, as well as how it compares against doing something else.

Economic Crisis – a situation in which a national economy suddenly deteriorates significantly. We also refer to it as a real economic crisis. Most economic crises follow financial crises, which affect the banking and finance sector. An economic crisis affects the whole economy.

Economic Dependence – a situation in which one entity depends on the well-being of another or on something occurring. For example, farmers depend on rainfall for their economic well-being. A customer depends on the prompt delivery of a supplier so that it can do business effectively. Economic dependence between countries is a fact of life.

Economic Depression – a period of economic contraction that exceeds three years. During the whole, period, GDP contracts by at least ten percent. An economic depression is longer than a recession. However, they both have the same starting dates.

Economic Determinism – a belief or theory that all social and political activities and phenomena are the result of how society’s economy is organized. It is a socioeconomic concept that market forces determine all social and political change.

Economic Development – the process by which a country turns from a primitive economy to an advanced one. The population gradually shifts from agriculture to industry, and eventully to services. During economic development, people’s incomes, health, academic levels, and access to good quality housing improves.

Economic Downturn – when the economy contracts or growth slows down, stock market and property prices decline, unemployment rises, borrowing decreases, and companies invest and produce less. Sometimes an economic downturn may be a prelude to a recession.

Economic Equilibrium – an economic state in which the forces of supply and demand are in perfect balance. In other words, when demand equals supply. When there is economic equilibrium, there are no outside forces causing disruption.

Economic Environment – all the external economic factors that affect the purchasing habits of businesses and consumers, and therefore also influence company performance. They may be large-scale or small scale factors, i.e., macroeconomic or microeconomic factors.

Economic Forecast – an informed prediction of future economic conditions, derived from the analysis of current and historical data, including trends in GDP, employment, inflation, and other economic indicators, to aid decision-making for businesses and governments.

Economic Geography – a sub-field of Geography and Economics, studies the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world.

Economic Globalization – the increasing mobility of capital, goods, services, technology and people internationally. It also refers to a nation’s integration into the global economy. Also known as simply globalization.

Economic Growth – an increase in GDP (gross domestic product) over a given period in a nation or region. When the value of all goods and services produced rises.

Economic Inequality – the extent to which income, wealth, and opportunity are distributed unevenly among individuals in a society, often leading to disparities in living standards, access to resources, and the ability to participate fully in economic, social, and political life.

Economic Indicator – a statistic that shows current economic growth rates and forecasts future economic trends. It helps assess the health of an economy, guiding policymakers, investors, and analysts in decision-making.

Economic Integration – the unification of economic policies and practices between different countries, aimed at reducing trade barriers and increasing economic cooperation. It encompasses various stages from free trade areas to full monetary unions, promoting efficiency and growth through shared markets and policy alignment.

Economic Intelligence – the analysis of market trends to facilitate strategic decision-making. The term also includes the gathering and analysis of information to protect national economic security.

Economic Landscape – a comprehensive snapshot of a country’s economic environment, encompassing key indicators such as GDP growth rates, employment levels, inflation rates, trade balances, and sectoral health. It reflects the interplay of supply and demand, monetary and fiscal policies, and global economic trends.

Economic Life – the length of time a machine, factory, vehicle or building (an asset) generates more income than it costs to operate and maintain, or before the repair costs become so high so that it should no longer be kept. Also known as depreciable life, useful life or service life.

Economic Model a simplified description of reality. Economic models are either simulations or predictions of what might happen in different scenarios. Specialists who have to present to lay people will use models to make their complicated data easier to understand. Simulations tend to be more accurate that forecasts.

Economic Performance – the evaluation of an economy’s output, stability, and growth, as measured by indicators like GDP, unemployment rates, and inflation.

Economic Policy – government measures and strategies to influence a nation’s economic health through fiscal and monetary actions, impacting taxation, spending, and the overall market environment.

Economic Recovery – the phase following a recession where economic activity rebounds, marked by increases in GDP, employment, consumer spending, and business investments, leading to overall growth and improvement in the economy’s health.

Economic Risk – the likelihood that an investment or company may be disadvantaged by regulatory changes, exchange rate fluctuations, higher taxes, nationalization, or economic sanctions. Economic risk applies to either the domestic or foreign economy, depending on where the investment is done or the company operates.

Economics – the study of the factors that determine the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Economics examines how people use scarce resources that have alternative uses.

Economic Sanctions – punitive measures taken against a country to get it to change policy. Actions may include travel bans, arms embargoes, capital restraints, foreign aid reductions, and trade restrictions. The aim may be to resolve a trade dispute, human rights violations, stop a nation getting nuclear weapons, to counter terrorism, cybersecurity, or combat drug barons.

Economic Sector – a segment of the economy categorized by a specific type of activity, such as agriculture, manufacturing, or services.

Economic Security – having a stable income and resources to provide for yourself and your family, both now and in the future.

Economic Sentiment – an indicator of the public’s optimism or pessimism about the economy’s prospects. It reflects perceptions on employment, financial health, and overall economic conditions. This sentiment can significantly influence economic activity, as it affects consumer spending, business investment, and government policy decisions, ultimately shaping economic growth and stability.

Economic Stability – a state in which an economy shows consistent growth, manageable inflation, and low unemployment, leading to predictability in economic performance and confidence among consumers, businesses, and investors.

Economic Strategy – a comprehensive approach designed to harness a country’s strengths and improve its weaknesses, aiming to foster long-term economic growth, enhance competitiveness, and ensure sustainable development through informed policy-making and resource management.

Economic Surplus – also called the Marshallian Surplus or Total Welfare, is the Producer Surplus and Consumer Surplus combined. The Consumer Surplus is the monetary gain obtained by consumers because they were able to buy a product for less than the highest price they would have accepted. The Producer Surplus is the difference between how much a supplier sold a good or service for minus his or her minimum selling price. British economist Alfred Marshall used the three terms in his 1890 book – The Principles of Economics.

Economic System – a system that defines how all the players in an economy interact. It is an organized way in which a nation allocates resources and distributes goods and services. An economic system includes the combination of all the entities, agencies, institutions and decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that constitute the economic structure of a specific community.

Economic Theory – the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among different people. It covers both individual (microeconomic) and national (macroeconomic) perspectives, focusing on market dynamics, decision-making, and policy impacts.

Economic Tigers – Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong; four countries whose economies grew by more than 7% annually from the 1960s to the 1990s. In a few decades they changed from being low-income economies (third world countries) into advanced economies (industrialized nations). Also known as Asian Dragons or Asian Tigers.

Economic Trends – directional changes in economic activities, such as employment rates, market performance, and consumer behavior, that collectively indicate the health and future trajectory of economies on both a national and global scale.

Economic Union – a type of trade bloc which provides for the integration of member countries’ economic policies, including the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor, alongside the harmonization of monetary and fiscal policies.

Economic Value – the value of an asset calculated according to its ability to generate income. The most a consumer is willing to pay for a good or service.

Economic Value Added – a measure of how well a company has performed in relation to the funds invested in it. If the measure is a positive number, it means the business or project generated more profit from invested capital than how much it had to pay out to get that capital. Also known as economic profit.

Economic Viability – the ability of a business or project to generate sufficient income to cover its costs and sustain operations profitably over time.

Economies of Scale – in microeconomics, it refers to the overall unit costs of production – they go down when production increases, and rise when production declines. With higher production, fixed costs – which remain relatively unchanged – can be spread over a larger number of unit costs. There are internal and external economies of scale. The opposite is diseconomies of scale.

Economist – somebody who specializes in economics, i.e., an economics expert. Economists may also study, develop, and apply economic notions, theories, and concepts and write about economic policy.

Ecotourism – a type of tourism which involves responsible travel to areas of ecological interest.

Education – the process of imparting or acquiring knowledge, i.e., the process of teaching and learning. The meaning may vary, depending on who says it, where, and in which context.

Efficacy – means the same as effectiveness in most cases. Efficacy is the ability to produce an intended or desired result. The term is more commonly used in the world of medicine and pharmacology than business & finance.

Effective Margin – the amount generated from an asset when taking into account the financing costs of a prepayment and interest. It represents potential profits if funds change but income remains the same.

Efficiency – is all about getting the most out of the available resources. Efficient businesses maximize outputs from the inputs they have. Efficiency looks at what is currently being produced and compares that with what could be achieved without changing current resources, such as time, machinery, labor numbers and skills, and money.

Efficient Diversification – refers to the organizing principle of portfolio theory, which attempts to help boost the expected return for a portfolio, given a specified level risk.

Efficient Portfolio – refers to a portfolio that gives the best return given a specific level of risk. The concept was introduced by American economist Harry Max Markowitz in 1952.

Elasticity – a measure of how sensitive the demand or supply of a product is to changes in price, income, or other factors, indicating the percentage change in quantity demanded or supplied in response to a one percent change in price or other variables.

E-Learning – stands for Electronic Learning, i.e., online learning or online education. In other words, doing a course via the Internet rather than physically being at the learning center’s campus.

Electric Vehicle – a vehicle that runs on electricity, either fully or partially. We also refer to it as an EV or e-vehicle. EVs have on-board batteries or fuel cells. Their owners recharge the batteries by plugging them into the electricity grid.

Electronics – a branch of physics which at its most basic level is concerned with the flow of electrons and their uses. If you design, create, or use electronic devices, you are involved in electronics.

E-Mail Bomb – the sending of a massive number of e-mails to an e-mail account holder. We also refer to it as a ‘mail bomb.’ The flood of emails overwhelms the system, causing it to crash. E-mail bombs are cyber attacks – they are nasty.

E-Mail Marketing – the act of sending emails to promote a company’s or organization’s goods or services, request donations, or invite readers to become members. It is part of digital marketing.

Embargo – an order to stop something temporarily, usually trading with a country. An embargo may involve banning ships from a certain country from using your nation’s ports. It can also mean to stop giving information, as in “The police asked for a new embargo while they tried to locate the kidnappers and free the hostages.”

Embezzlement – the fraudulent taking of personal property by someone to whom it was entrusted, typically in their role as an employee or public official.

E-Meeting – a meeting that takes place electronically. Hence the name, ‘e” (electronic) + ‘meeting’ = ‘electronic meeting.’ Most e-meetings are done using the Internet. We also call it an e-conference or online meeting.

Emerging Markets – the term refers to countries that are neither low-income nations (frontier markets) nor advanced economies. They have a growing industrial base and middle class, high literacy rate, and a young population that wants the same things that the citizens of developed countries want.

Empathy – is the ability to listen in a non-judgemental way, sense the other person’s feelings, and imagine what they are thinking. When a person is empathic towards me, I feel accepted and understood.

Employee – somebody who is hired by an employer to perform specific duties in exchange for compensation. Somebody who works for a person, company, government department, or other entity for pay.

Encryption – Encryption is like turning a message into a secret code. Only specific people have the key to change the code back into the original message.

Endowment Mortgage – a mortgage which also has a life insurance policy (endowment policy). At the end of the contract the life insurance policy is used to pay off what is owed. This type of loan was popular in the UK and Ireland in the 1980s.

End-to-End Testing – also known as E2E Testing, a comprehensive validation process that ensures an application performs as expected from start to finish.

Energy Conservation –  the practice of using less energy. It is achieved by adjusting behaviors and habits.

Energy Efficiency – the practice of using less energy to provide the same amount of useful output from a service (such as heating water, lighting, or cooling a fridge).

Engineer – an engineering professional who uses scientific principles to make machines, devices, equipment, and other structures such as tunnels, skyscrapers, airplanes, robots, chemicals, and pharmaceutical products. There are more than 40 different types of engineers.

Engineering – a huge field. Engineers use scientific principles to create things such as machines, structures, robots, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and many more. There are dozens of different types of engineers.

Enterprise – can refer to a skill some humans have to be daring in business and pursue their new ideas, regardless of the risks. An enterprise is also a business. The term can also mean a difficult or important challenge. An enterprising person is called an entrepreneur.

Entity – in business it is anything that is formed and administered, according to commercial law, in order to conduct business, engage in charitable work, or carry out other allowable activities. In lay English, an entity is a real thing, a being, something that exists, a separate being that exists in its own right. For tax purposes, a company is a separate business entity from its human owner(s).

Entrepreneur – somebody who sees a business opportunity and creates a company to exploit it. The term may also refer to a person who identifies a problem and then develops a business venture to solve it.

Entrepreneurship – the process of designing, launching, and running a new business, often starting as a small venture. The term also refers to the skills that an entrepreneur has.

Environment – all the conditions and surroundings in which organisms exist and function. The atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere are three parts of the non-living environment. We call the living part the biosphere.

Environmental Factors – all the elements that influence the well-being of a company, including internal and external factors. Internal ones include the quality and attitude of the workforce and the leadership characteristics of the management. External ones include levels and types of competition, technological changes, consumer attitudes, legislation, and the availability or scarcity of certain resources. The term also has scientific, biological and geographical meanings.

Equipment – the term has many possible meanings. It often refers to a set of tools or other items that are commonly used for specific purposes or to achieve particular objectives.

Equity Finance – also called equity financing, is a method of raising capital for business expansion by selling partial or complete ownership of the company’s equity. Sometimes the equity is sold in exchange for other assets.

Equity – the value of ownership of an asset after liabilities with that asset are cleared. Equity or shareholders’ equity is equal to the capital in a business. If you own a house worth $200,000 and your outstanding mortgage is $120,000, your equity is $80,000.

Ergonomics – also known as ‘Human Factors’, is concerned with the understanding of interactions among people and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, data, principles, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) – a type of screening done by investors and many portfolio managers today which includes only companies that meet certain criteria related to the environment, society and governance (how the firm polices itself). ESG is a rapidly-growing segment in the world of capital markets, and is expected to continue expanding at an accelerated rate. ESG-screened investments are not, like many people believe, inferior investments that give you a lower-than-average return – in fact, the opposite is frequently the case.

eSports – short for Electronic Sports. In eSports, gamers, who play video/computer games, compete online or in huge arenas.

Estate planning – arranging and preparing the transfer of a person’s asset base after his or her death.

Ethereum – this term may refer to either the cryptocurrency ‘Ether‘ or the decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. Smart contracts are applications that run with no risk of interference from third parties or censorship. Also there is no risk of downtime. According to Ethereum’s creator, fraud is impossible with this platform.

Ethics – the moral principles that govern how we conduct ourselves at work and in our everyday lives. Business ethics, also called corporate ethics, is all about how we perceive and respond to ethical and moral issues. It affects how we deal with customers, other companies, regulations, employees, etc.

E-ticket – an electronic ticket. It is a digital ticket that is as valid as a paper one, i.e., it is the equivalent of a paper ticket. The e-ticket is an entry in a computer system that has the payer’s name, plus details of the flight, venue, event, etc. Most airline tickets today exist purely electronically.

Euro – the official currency of the Eurozone, used by 20 of the 27 European Union member states, managed by the European Central Bank for facilitating economic stability and integration within Europe.

European Central Bank (ECB) – the central bank for the euro. it manages the monetary policy of the Eurozone (which has 18 EU member states).

European Commission – the EU’s politically independent executive arm. It proposes new legislation. The European Parliament and the Council of Europe determine whether to turn them into law. The Commission also implements the decisions that the Parliament and Council have made.

European Investment Bank (EIB) – a European Union financial institution that lends money for infrastructure projects such as tunnels, roads, railways, as well as business development, mainly within the EU (but also outside). It is the largest public lending institution in the world.

European Parliament – the EU’s law-making body. It consists of 751 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament). European voters elect their MEP every five years.

European Union – an economic and political union of 28 European countries or member states. We also refer to it as the EU. It is the world’s largest consumer market.

Eurozone – a monetary union of 19 European Union countries that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency, facilitating economic stability and integration within the region.

Evergreen Loan – a type of loan that goes on and on. The credit facility is repeatedly renewed. The principal does not have to be paid off within a certain period. Also called a revolving loan or standing loan.

E-Wallet – a digital system that stores the user’s payment information such as credit cards, address, ID, etc. We also call it a digital wallet.

Exchange Rate – also known as Conversion Rate, is the value at which one currency can be exchanged for another.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) – an investment fund that tracks an index, such as a commodity, bonds, or a portfolio of assets. Similar to an index fund but different from a mutual fund in that you can buy and sell them at any time.

Excise – a duty or tax that governments levy on certain goods such as gasoline, alcoholic drinks, and tobacco products. As a verb, the term means to remove something, often by cutting it out.

Exhibition Booth – a specially designed space at trade shows or exhibitions where companies display products, interact with visitors, and promote their brand to potential customers and business partners.

Expenditure – the money we, companies, governments, and other organizations or entities spend is classed as expenditure. It is the action of spending money. There are many different types, such as government, capital, or revenue expenditure.

Expense – a cost incurred over a specific period which is part of a business’ operating activities. An outflow of money from one person or entity to pay for a good or service. It is a cost that is paid for usually in exchange for something of value.

Expense Ratio – represents a mutual fund’s total operating expenses as a percentage of the average net assets of the fund.

Experience Economy – an economy that is focused on creating and offering memorable experiences that foster emotional engagement and personal connections, it prioritizes the value of unique, immersive interactions over the simple transaction of traditional goods and services.

Exports – these are goods and services that are sold by people, businesses and other entities in one country to consumers in another country, i.e. products and services sold abroad. The opposite of exports are imports. Exports and imports form part of international trade. China is the world’s largest exporting nation.

Export Credit Agency (ECA) – a (usually) government-sponsored entity that helps domestic companies export, especially to higher-risk markets such as low income nations and emerging economies. Also known as ECAs, they provide loans, credit insurance and guarantees.

External Linking – the process of placing hyperlinks that take visitors away from a website to a different one. The term contrasts with internal linking. If you place a link in your website that points to Wikipedia, that is an example of external linking.

Extremophiles – creatures that can survive and reproduce in hostile environments. They thrive in environments that are too hot, cold, acidic, alkaline, or salty for most life forms.