take a haircut v. phr. (in finance) to accept a valuation or return that is less than optimal, especially to partially forgive a debt. Editorial Note: A related term is take a bath, meaning “to suffer substantial or complete loss (of an investment).” (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. John says:

    This phrase was also popular during the Argentian Debt Crisis earlier this century

    See “And the Money Kept Rolling In (and out)”

    Page 82 on google books:
    http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1586482459&id=oDdD87HSx2oC&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&vq=haircut&dq=and+the+money+kept+rolling+in&sig=rGCQaVs8QNDIwUeRwvq0fm8hUfA

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