“Dry Powder”: Financial Expression of the Day


Wall Street guys love dry powder.

Dry powder,” noun phrase, a reserve of cash.  Usage note:  Within the financial field, this popular yet dreadful expression can be used a couple of ways.  For example, an investment banker, looking for some excuse to propose a value-destroying yet fee-generating corporate finance action, might say of a client:  “They’ve got over $50 million of dry powder on the balance sheet, let’s pitch them on buying that typewriter company in Detroit.” 

A mutual fund manager who has not invested all the money under his control might say, “Yeah, I’ve got dry powder I need to put to work, let’s ‘roll up our sleeves’ on that Colorado bong manufacturer.”  (The speaker here has deftly used two cliches in one sentence, a flashy display best left for seasoned veterans of the Street.)  Unfortunately, because Wall Streeters can’t leave well enough alone, they take an ugly turn of phrase and make it truly vile by applying it to non-financial contexts.  A vice president, who, in a fashion typical of many financiers, brims with overconfidence despite having social skills worthy of the Asperger’s Hall of Fame, might say to his office mate while at dinner:  “Let’s not blow too much money on good wine here, we need plenty of dry powder for the strip club.”


One thought on ““Dry Powder”: Financial Expression of the Day

  1. Pingback: “Delta”: Financial Expression of the Day | Bud Fox News

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