Bear Markets and Beyond: A Bestiary of Business Terms

Why do animals lend themselves to economic and financial jargon? Perhaps it’s because we need visual and tangible ways or relating to concepts that are so vague, confusing or downright opaque.

Bear Markets and Beyond by Dhruti Shah and Dominic Bailey provides an A-Z compendium of animal financial jargon. From an “alligator spread” that has nothing to do with sandwiches to “wolf economy” you’ll find a surprisingly diverse variety of species represented. Such as meerkats and squids, porcupines and squids.

I was intrigued (and slightly depressed) to learn exactly where bull markets and bear markets originated. The authors speculate that it originated from bull and bear fights in London (not to single out London because these horrors were also common in the early days of California).

On that note, I would not say that this is a great book for animal lovers, as many of the terms build on either violent origins or popular misconceptions (a pig is greedy, lemmings don’t really follow each other over cliffs).

But this is an interesting book for writing about animals. Because writers need to fully understand how these misconceptions about animals live on through society. Like bulls and bears, doves and hawks.

This would make a great gift book for anyone who lives and breathes the stock market, particularly if they look down on us “animal people.” You can hand them a copy of this book and tell them they are just as much into animals as the rest of us.

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