Financial back-formation

Insider trading is much in the news these days (see, for example, Roger Lowenstein’s piece “The Greed Police” in the NYT Magazine of September 25th), so it was probably inevitable that the back-formed verb insider-trade would appear. I heard it first on KQED-FM yesterday morning, but it’s been around for a while in print, in some abundance.

Most hits are for the BSE form, as here:

If You’re Going To Insider Trade, Think About Doing It In A Stock Not So Near To The SEC’s Heart (link)

Congress is allowed to insider trade. (link)

If Howie stays, I wonder if any of the staff will insider trade Sirius’ stock expecting a little bump in share price? (link) [note transitive use]

But it also occurs in other forms:

[PRS] What IS scandalous is that CONgress chases Martha Stewart and Wall Street for Insider Trading, yet they Insider Trade. (link)

[PST] Noah Freeman Says He Insider Traded At SAC And At Sonar Capital (link)


[PSP in perfect] At the same time, he has insider-traded his way through 100,000s of shares of Vornado stock, profiting in the $10,000,000s, as outside investors have lost fortunes. (link)


[PSP in passive] … there was no Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stock was insider-traded to a ridiculous degree by bankers and executives of the massive companies of the time like RCA and Westinghouse. (link)

There are even some -er-agentives:

The sloppy trail of an alleged insider trader (link)

These alongside many agentive inside trader examples, like:

Prosecutor says Silicon Valley inside trader deserves up to 10 years in prison (link)

There are also many occurrences of the noun insider trade, as in:

Many investors follow the summaries of these insider trades in the hope that mimicking these trades will be profitable. (link)

But this is probably just ordinary compounding, ‘a trade by an insider’, rather than a nouning of the back-formed verb insider-trade.


One Response to “Financial back-formation”

  1. xkcd back-formation « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] data mine and related verbs here and insider-trade here. I have hundreds in my […]

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