death spiral


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death spiral

1. In aviation, a dangerous downward cork-screw maneuver of a disabled or uncontrollable aircraft that often leads to a crash. Also called a "spiral dive." The pilot, unaware of the plane's slight roll in the cloud bank, only realized he was in a death spiral when it was too late to overcome the dive.
2. In pairs figure skating, a maneuver in which the male partner, in a pivot position, spins the female partner with one hand in a wide circle with her body nearly parallel to the ground. The two pulled off an amazing death spiral—her head looked as though it were about to touch the ice at one point!
3. In insurance (especially health insurance), a plan in which costs rapidly increase over time due to policyholders with a lower risk opting out of the policy, forcing those dependent on it to pay higher premiums, thus prompting more low-risk policy holders to opt out and further drive up costs, and so on. I purchased my health insurance plan as a means to afford my medicine, but it turned into a death spiral when employers started offering cheaper, barebones plans that the majority of people were quick to switch to.
4. In finance, a loan given by investors to a company in exchange for convertible bonds, which can then be converted to common stock at prices lower than the market value, causing overall share prices to fall and more bondholders to trade their stock for equity, ultimately leading to a collapse of the company's stock worth altogether. To keep his company afloat, Tom was forced to take a loan that ultimately proved a death spiral, leading him to close the business anyway.
5. Any situation in which a series of events or actions, especially as a consequence of one another, ultimately lead to a point of ruin, failure, or destruction. With the recent allegations of drug abuse, corruption charges, and controversial remarks about minorities, the long-time senator now seems locked into an irreversible death spiral.
See also: death, spiral
References in periodicals archive ?
The root of the death spiral lies in the fact that insurance coverage is so strongly linked to employment in the United States.
Drawing on some 30 years of experience learning about and working with organizations, leadership, and continual improvement, Stocker discusses the warning signs of organizational decline and provides a method for leaders to identify and eliminate problems before their corporation enters a death spiral.
The most generous indemnity insurance--which covered care from the doctor of your choice--was subject to an "adverse selection death spiral.
I think the Kyoto accord is flawed but represents a positive first step in recognizing the death spiral of global warming.
Introducing readers to a wealth of factual and conceptual strategies, Avoiding The Corporate Death Spiral presents to readers all the warning signs of the several-year-long process of organizational decline and the "death spiral".
To solve those problems, he had to "revise the IRS's death spiral of distrust.
Douglas Bland, was succinct in his summary: "The armed forces, by anyone's estimate, is in a death spiral.
We did not mean to leave anyone with the conclusion that any of the El Paso pipelines are in any danger of going into death spiral," she emphasized.
Many analysts maintain that Pemex is on the brink of a death spiral of falling production and rising debt.
Private equity firms offer to infuse cash, receive death spiral convertibles, obtain steep discounts--as high as 30%--on common stock purchases, and reserve the right to sell the stock short.
Despite the shaky start, for the next week, Dale cheered me on as I got his Cessna Cardinal off the ground, did 30-degree turns and cruised the sky without sending us into a death spiral.
Here the stories become more serious: flights flown by "crazy" pilots who created imaginary malfunctions and headed back to base a half hour into the mission; his early relatively tame flights to French targets which ended quickly with his first mission over Germany; a navigator's job while Bf 109s hurled past the formation with guns blazing; what happened over the target area as flak got much too accurate for comfort; seeing his friend's plane being hit and starting its slow death spiral to the ground thousands of feet below; what life was like at Horsham St.
In a federal court in Houston, Fastow, 42, pleaded guilty to ''participating in a massive conspiracy to cook the books of Enron and to hide from that company's shareholders and the investing public the downward death spiral that that company was in,'' Deputy Attorney General James Comey said at a news conference.
Parker warned that the medical malpractice crisis was entering a death spiral, particularly in the area of obstetrics.
Medicaid, chronically underfunded since its inception, appears these days to be very near a death spiral.