Read the lesson in English  
then translate to your own language to verify your understanding.

Are Bailouts the ‘New Normal’? | English Lesson

Oct 7, 2022

Hi friends. In this lesson, you will learn what the word ‘bailout‘ means, and you will also learn the expressions ‘to dole out‘ and ‘to turn on the fiscal taps‘.

Before I get underway, I do want to mention that I was traveling in Europe recently and spent a good deal of time in Normandy, France. It was particularly interesting to see how the French are managing the current fuel crisis provoked by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Did you know that France gets more than 70% of its electricity from nuclear reactors, which has given them a little more breathing room than some of their neighbors? There is also an important component of hydroelectric and other renewable energies. The French might feel the pain at the gas pump, but it looks like this year their electricity bills are going to be under control.

Coincidentally, our topic today is related to the fuel crisis, which brings us to the first word in our key vocabulary: ‘Bailouts’. So, what is a “bailout”?

According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, a bailout is “an act of giving financial assistance to a failing business or economy to save it from collapse”.

A recent headline in the Economist magazine titled “The World Enters a New Era: Bailouts for Everyone” details how there has been a growing trend over the past 15 years for politicians to disburse public funds to help out companies generously, and now even individuals, in the wake of different crises, such as the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, and the crises provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic, and most recently, the spike in the price of fuel.

Hey, did you hear how I used the word ‘wake’ just now? I said, in the “wake of different crises”. ‘Wake’ means in the aftermath. Or in other words, something that follows something else.

By the way, ‘crises‘ (plural of the word crisis) is commonly mispronounced. Learn the pronunciation of ‘crises’ here.

Anyway, I digress. Let me get back to ‘bailout’.

You will be interested to know that the origin of the word bailout was the act of removing water from the hull of a ship with a bucket so it wouldn’t sink! By “bailing out” the ship, you would save it. It is ironic that now, instead of pouring water out, ‘bailing out’ means pouring money in!

The article, which I have linked to in the show notes, states:

“Today’s governments have introduced some measures to cut consumption. But mainly they have turned on the fiscal taps.”

You might recognize the word “tap” from your bathroom sink. You turn on the tap to get water. Well, in this case, it is the fiscal taps, which refers to government spending.

The article goes on to say this:

“America has spent, too, if on a smaller scale. State governors are doling out “gas cards” and suspending fuel taxes to help people refill.”

Dole out”?  ‘Dole out’ means to hand out; to distribute rather freely.

Since there is little evidence to suggest a change in government attitude, this is all super-useful vocabulary.

So remember this:

  • Fiscal taps: Government spending.
  • Dole out: To hand out. To give away.

Friends, that’s all for now. I will be back with another English lesson for economists soon!

This is Alan Robert. Take care!

 

Join Our Podcast Club

You Can Also Subscribe to Our Podcast On These Platforms:

Follow us on spotify
Apple Podcast

2 Comments

  1. Joel

    Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Alan Robert

      It’s my pleasure!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Podcasts

‘White Swan’ and ‘Black Swan’ Events

‘White Swan’ and ‘Black Swan’ Events

Today, we're exploring a fascinating topic that has attracted a lot of attention in financial circles: the concept of Black Swan and White Swan events. Our discussion and English class today was inspired by a recent Bloomberg article from January 30th titled, "A...

‘Steel Yourself’ for a Potential Trade War

‘Steel Yourself’ for a Potential Trade War

Our lesson today is based on an article from The Economist Magazine, published on January 9th, titled "Xi Jinping risks setting off another trade war." Listen again, "Xi Jinping risks setting off another trade war."...

Predictions 2024: Dollar Bears, Bond Bulls, and Steady Stocks

Predictions 2024: Dollar Bears, Bond Bulls, and Steady Stocks

The source for today’s lesson is an article taken from Bloomberg News, titled “Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Year”. The article makes several predictions about markets in 2024. They say that there will be “Dollar Bears” “Bond Bulls” and “Steady Stocks”....

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is Booming

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is Booming

In Episode 85,  we delve into a fascinating headline from early December published by CNN: ‘It’s lending on steroids’: How Buy Now, Pay Later companies are meeting an influx of demand despite higher costs....

What Is a ‘Windfall’?

What Is a ‘Windfall’?

Today, we dissect an intriguing headline from The Guardian newspaper, published earlier this week. We'll unravel the vocabulary and concepts it presents. https://open.spotify.com/episode/4gv38LOliwLyMAQkrOIgmB?si=mk5lHPdZR5apuxI8bg8AmQ Our primary focus today revolves...

What is Economic Swagger?

What is Economic Swagger?

Today, we're focusing on a headline that's making waves from CNN Economic Marketplace Asia: "India regains its economic swagger as China stumbles." The term 'economic swagger' here is a colorful way to describe how India is showing off its economic strength and...