DEFINITION of 'Haircut'

1. The difference between prices at which a market maker can buy and sell a security.

2. The percentage by which an asset's market value is reduced for the purpose of calculating capital requirement, margin and collateral levels.


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1. The term haircut comes from the fact that market makers can trade at such a thin spread.

2. When they are used as collateral, securities will generally be devalued since a cushion is required by the lending parties in case the market value falls.

  1. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value ...
  2. Margin

    1. Borrowed money that is used to purchase securities. This practice ...
  3. Collateral

    Property or other assets that a borrower offers a lender to secure ...
  4. Risk-Based Capital Requirement

    A rule that establishes minimum required liquid reserves for ...
  5. Risk-Based Haircut

    A reduction in the recognized value of an asset in order to produce ...
  6. Market Maker

    A broker-dealer firm that accepts the risk of holding a certain ...
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  1. What is the haircut rate imposed by clearing corporations?

    A haircut rate is a measure that reduces the value of any collateral used in a loan to ensure that when the effects of volatility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a broker decide which customers are eligible to open a margin account?

    Brokers have the sole discretion to determine which customers may open margin accounts with them, although there are regulations ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the interest rate offered on a typical margin account?

    Interest rates on margin accounts vary according to the size of the loan and the brokerage firm being used. Generally, interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between shares outstanding and floating stock?

    Shares outstanding and floating stock are different measures of the shares of a particular stock. Shares outstanding is the ... Read Full Answer >>

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