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greenmail (GREEN-mayl) noun

The practice of buying a large quantity of a company's stock as a hostile takeover measure, and then selling it to the company at a higher price.

[From green (money) + mail (as in blackmail).]

"Second, Northwest sees its economic stake in Continental rise rapidly and is then allowed to sell most of its stock back to Continental in a transaction that deserves to be called greenmail." Floyd Norris, Little to Cheer About For Public Shareholders, The New York Times, Nov 7, 2000.

This week's theme: words with color as metaphors.


Whenever you commend, add your reasons for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and admiration of fools. -Richard Steele, author and editor (1672-1729)

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