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Skeleton crew

From “dead time” to “creeping inflation,” terrifying terms are explained by fearless faculty from the Macabre School of Business.

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Terrifying terms explained by fearless faculty from the Macabre School of Business

In a world crawling with things that go bump in the night, fresh terrors lurk behind every corner. There are the usual suspects slithering snakes, terrifying tarantulas, that clown from your sixth birthday party. But in today’s age, we’re just as likely to be haunted by credit default swaps or unemployment statistics.

Fearless faculty from the McCombs School of Business explore the dread of deal-making, the macabre behind the money, the horror of high finance. Proceed if you dare.

Category killer — A business or product that is so successful that it drives out nearly all competitors from its market.

Creeping inflation — A gradual, marked increase in inflation from year to year, by as little as 3 percent annually.

Dead time — Those long, dull windows of time at the office when there is either no work to be done or it is being avoided at all cost. May or may not correlate with an increase in Farmville activity.

Headhunter — A personnel recruiter, often used to place candidates at the executive level.

Moonlighting — Working a second job, often during the late hours of the night. Not to be confused with the 1980s romantic comedy-drama television series starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

Phantom income — Income that is taxable but does not actually generate cash flow.

Predatory pricing — The offering of products and services below cost as a means of driving a competitor out of business or an exclusive market.

Skeleton crew — A reduced number of employees, typically covering slow periods of work.

Read the complete Skeleton Crew feature story and watch videos about more terrifying terminology.