Smoking Gun


DEFINITION of 'Smoking Gun'

Something that serves as indisputable evidence or proof, especially of a crime.


Here is an example used in everyday language from on Feb 6, 2002:

"Maybe there was no proof before, but there is now; a secret memo - personally handed to [U.S. Vice-President Dick] Cheney by Ken Lay [ex-Enron chairman and CEO], which helps explain why the White House is so skittish about Enron and why Cheney and [U.S. President George W.] Bush stubbornly refuse to release the records of those energy task force meetings. The memo was obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle and reported exclusively there last week. This is the Enron smoking gun."

  1. Money Laundering

    Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that ...
  2. Execution

    The completion of a buy or sell order for a security. The execution ...
  3. Guilt-Edged Investment

    An unethical investment that generates profits for the investor. ...
  4. Circular Trading

    A fraudulent trading scheme where sell orders are entered by ...
  5. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on ...
  6. Churning

    Excessive trading by a broker in a client's account largely to ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Biggest Stock Scams Of All Time

    Where there is money, there are swindlers. Protect yourself by learning how investors have been betrayed in the past.
  2. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  3. Investing Basics

    Playing The Sleuth In A Scandal Stock

    Learn the legwork involved in finding out whether your investment can weather a storm.
  4. Options & Futures

    Are Structured Retail Products Too Good To Be True?

    Spot a rotten investment before you get seduced by its sweet promise of profit.
  5. Retirement

    The Top 3 Retiree Worries (And What To Do About Them)

    Discover the most common problems retirees face, and what they can do to solve them.
  6. Professionals

    4 Must Watch Films and Documentaries for Accountants

    Learn how these must-watch movies for accountants teach about the importance of ethics in a world driven by greed and financial power.
  7. Investing

    What’s the Difference Between Duration & Maturity?

    We look at the meaning of two terms that often get confused, duration and maturity, to set the record straight.
  8. Investing Basics

    4 Iconic Financial Companies That No Longer Exist

    Learn how poor management, frauds, scandals or mergers wiped out some of the most recognizable brands in the finance industry in the United States.
  9. Retirement

    What Was The Glass-Steagall Act?

    Established in 1933 and repealed in 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act had good intentions but mixed results.
  10. Active Trading

    What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

    The FTC announced it had opened an official investigation of Herbalife, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme. But what exactly does that mean?
  1. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does working capital include inventory?

    A company's working capital includes inventory, and increases in inventory make working capital increase. Working capital ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some high-profile examples of wash trading schemes?

    In 2012, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was accused of a complex wash trading scheme to profit from a Canadian tax provision, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are examples of inherent risk?

    Inherent risk is the risk imposed by complex transactions that require significant estimation in assessing the impact on ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between wash trading and insider trading?

    Wash trading is an illegal trading activity that artificially pumps up trading volume in a stock without the stock ever changing ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How did Enron use off-balance-sheet items to hide huge debts and toxic assets?

    Prior to its infamous accounting scandals and collapse, Enron used off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to hide ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center