Esoteric Debt

Definition of 'Esoteric Debt'


Complex debt instruments with structures and pricing that are known to relatively few participants. The structure may lead to seemingly attractive risk/return over other debt instruments when the instruments function properly, but can also lead to illiquidity and pricing problems when markets are disrupted. Auction rate securities are an example of an esoteric debt vehicle.

Investopedia explains 'Esoteric Debt'


Leading up to the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, credit was flowing so freely that many companies were creating innovative and imaginative esoteric debt instruments to try to suit investor needs and make money. The result was many odd debt structures that fell apart when credit seized up and few people knew how they should be valued. While these complicated instruments may be more attractive than plain vanilla debt in good times, they can present immense problems when the credit markets tighten.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  2. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  3. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center