Note: In attempt to familiarize our less financially savvy readers with the argot of the Wall Street world, Bud Fox News is introducing the Financial Expression of the Day (sometimes referred to as “FEotD”).
Shop, noun, a financial firm or operation of some sort. Usage note: Not to be confused with “boutique,” an overused formulation that certainly deserves its own discussion, shop is a ridiculous but versatile term of insincere understatement. Using it, one would describe KKR as an “LBO shop.” Many investment banking and hedge fund employees (aka “hedgies,” a truly gag-inducing expression) use this word, which also nicely captures a bizarre reverse snobbery not uncommon on Wall Street. It’s as if the investment banker feels some sort of blue-collar kinship with the hardworking blacksmith of revolutionary times, the finance-type banging out deals while the horseshoe-maker, toiling away in his shop, bangs out shoes for horses, both with a tough, grueling job to do.