Friday, October 24, 2008

Of Dead Cats & Dog Whistles

Because of the ongoing McCain-Palin campaign crash and burn, the term dead cat bounce is in the news. What, pray tell, is a dead cat bounce?
It is a figurative term first used by traders in the financial industry in the mid-1980s to describe a pattern where a stock price plummets and then is followed by a moderate and temporary rise before resuming its free fall. It is derived from the notion that even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height.
More here.

Then there is another divine turn of phrase, dog whistle politics.
Dog whistles are built in such a way that humans cannot hear them due to their high frequency, but dogs can. Similarly, dog-whistle politics uses coded language that appears to mean one thing to most people but has a more specific meaning for targeted subgroups, in McCain's case racists and Evangelicals, among others.
More here.

Editors note: The cat in the photograph is not dead.


lotusflwr said...

Cute live cat picture!

Thank you for explaining the dead cat bounce, and dog whistle politics!

Yesterday was the first time I heard of this bounce, and I meant to get around to looking it up. Huzzah, now I have learned something new!

Anonymous said...

Nice definition. We have a great definition at, where we're tracking the good, bad and ugly from the left, right and center.