Belt And Suspenders

Definition of 'Belt And Suspenders'


A term used to mean conservatism and safety in lending practices. Belt and suspenders has been used to describe cautious bankers who demand loan policies be very strictly adhered to.

More generally - as the use of both a belt and suspenders to hold up one's pants implies - it can mean having redundant safety procedures in place to eliminate all risk. The term can be complimentary, but it also can convey ridicule of the overly conservative.

Investopedia explains 'Belt And Suspenders'


In his book The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time (2004), William Safire cited several examples of the use of belt and suspenders. He notes a sentence in the Dallas Morning News from 1987: "To qualify for the Scott Burns Belts and Suspender Bank List, a bank had to have primary equity capital amounting to at least 10% of its assets."

He also mentions a piece from the Wall Street Journal, in which Clinton policymaker Robert Rubin says "We'll be belts and suspenders with respect to those," regarding restrictions about lobbying the White House upon assuming his new banking job.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Cash and Carry Transaction

    A type of transaction in the futures market in which the cash or spot price of a commodity is below the futures contract price. Cash and carry transactions are considered arbitrage transactions.
  2. Amplitude

    The difference in price from the midpoint of a trough to the midpoint of a peak of a security. Amplitude is positive when calculating a bullish retracement (when calculating from trough to peak) and negative when calculating a bearish retracement (when calculating from peak to trough).
  3. Ascending Triangle

    A bullish chart pattern used in technical analysis that is easily recognizable by the distinct shape created by two trendlines. In an ascending triangle, one trendline is drawn horizontally at a level that has historically prevented the price from heading higher, while the second trendline connects a series of increasing troughs.
  4. National Best Bid and Offer - NBBO

    A term applying to the SEC requirement that brokers must guarantee customers the best available ask price when they buy securities and the best available bid price when they sell securities.
  5. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an investor has bought securities on margin, the minimum required level of margin is 25% of the total market value of the securities in the margin account.
  6. Leased Bank Guarantee

    A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years.
Trading Center