African Internationalism: political theory developed by Omali Yeshitela and the African People’s Socialist Party which analyses the world through the eyes of the African working class. African Internationalism shows that capitalism is a parasitic system that was built on the enslavement of African people and the theft of their land, labor and resources along with the genocide of the Indigenous people of the Americas and the colonization of the majority of the world for the benefit of white power and white people.
Arbitrage: Making money from different prices of the same stocks or currency in different markets, especially in “emerging” markets in colonized countries.
ARM: Adjustable rate mortgage
Bear Market: A prolonged period in which investment prices and stock markets fall, accompanied by widespread pessimism
Bull Market: A prolonged period in which investment prices rise faster than their historical average.
Bubble: Economic speculation at high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance from intrinsic values.
Cartel: A group of independent businesses that control production, pricing and marketing of a product
CDO: Collateralized Debt Obligation: Mortgages were bunched together (AAA (highest credit rating) with AA rating and unrated (subprime—which paid highest interests rates) then rolled up and sliced into tranches (French word for slice) and sold as investment vehicles to hedge funds and other investments. Were supposed to bring massive profit based on ever-increasing housing prices, but backfired creating trillions of dollars of losses on Wall Street. CDOs and MBSs were considered safe!
COINTELPRO: U.S. government counterinsurgency program coordinated by the FBI whose aim was to destroy and “neutralize” the anti-colonial Black Power Movement of the 1960s. COINTELPRO stands for Counterintelligence Program and was responsible for the assassinations of major leaders of the African movement at the time, including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton and Bobby Hutton. Also included slander, infiltration, use of provocateurs and “dirty tricks” targeting organizations and leaders of the movement.
Colonialism: The direct occupation with political, military and economic control of a people by an imperialist power for the purpose of extracting land, labor and resources for the benefit of the imperial population.
Commodity: A physical substance such as food, grains or metals which investors buy or sell.
Counterinsurgency: An imperialist military or other attempt to destroy a people’s resistance (insurgency) to colonial or neocolonial domination.
Depression: Severe downturn of economy; economy stops
Derivatives: MBS, CDOs and other investment instruments derived from assets.
Federal Reserve: Private, for profit bank run by a cartel of ruling class bankers from U.S. and Europe that functions as the U.S. central bank or treasury. Voted in by U.S. Congress, 1913.
Fiat money: Money because U.S. says so. U.S. abandoned gold standard in 1971, so U.S. dollar is just paper with no backing.
Free Trade: Independent capitalist businesses can exploit resources and trade without government intervention. Demand for free trade arose in the struggle of independent businesses (pirates) to participate in the trade in African people.
Gentrification: Housing speculation in African neighborhoods, white people flipping and turning over housing for a profit. Sparked by Fed’s lowering of interest rates and easing of mortgage regulations.
Gross Domestic Product: Supposedly an indicator of the health of the economy. Based on the equation: U.S. consumption + Investment + Government spending + exports – imports.
Hedge Funds: Hedge funds are speculative big money betting pools for rich people, making risky investments that can make a lot of money. Minimum hedge fund investment: $1 million.
Home Equity: The difference between the purchase price of a house and what it might be worth if put back on the market.
Housing Bubble: Rapid manipulated rise in housing prices caused by speculation in the housing market due to low interest rates.
Hyperinflation: Currency is worthless
Inflation: Chronic rise in prices—gas and food prices not counted!
Leverage: Borrows money with very little money down and then reinvests profits numerous times. “Flipping” stocks.
MBS: Mortgage Backed Security is an investment instrument such as a bond or certificate of deposit whose value is supposed to increase over time which is backed by mortgages. Supposed to bring about profits such as annual cash profits to holders. These were used massively in hedge funds, 401(k) and other investments creating massive losses for Wall Street as millions of mortgages are in default and houses are losing value after the bursting of the housing bubble.
Monopoly: A single corporation or state controls the whole industry
Negative home equity: When a mortgage is worth more than the actual price of the home.
Neocolonialism: Colonialism covered by the use of puppet leaders from the oppressed country or people for the purpose of continuing the exploitation of land, labor and resources for the benefits of the imperial population.
Off balance sheets: Asset, debt, financing activity not shown on a company’s official accounting sheet.
Primitive Accumulation of Capital: The term of Karl Marx for the original accumulation of capital—the start up capital for the capitalist system. Marx said primitive accumulation was the trade in African people, the theft of the resources of the Indigenous people and the Opium wars imposed by Britain on China.
Recession: Economic slowdown.
Stagflation: Slowing of economy with inflation
Stock (or share): A portion of ownership of a corporation
Subprime mortgage: Mortgages supposedly given to borrowers who have less than good or “prime” credit ratings. Adjustable rate mortgage (as opposed to prime mortgages with fixed interest rates). Rates start out low but reset after two years to much higher rates. African and Mexican people targeted for subprime by lenders and Wall Street.
Wealth Effect: Housing speculation brought about by low interest rates created rapid increase in housing prices created the illusion of wealth for white people who were cashing in on their home equity and getting easy credit card and automobile debt.