A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 25, 2013
Skin in the Game

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Skin in the game (phrase)
To have “skin in the game” is to have incurred monetary risk by being invested in achieving a goal.

In the phrase, “skin” is a synecdoche for the person involved, and “game” is the metaphor for the actions on whatever field of play is at reference. The aphorism is particularly common in business, finance, and gambling, and has also used in politics.

Etymology
The origin of the phrase is unknown. It has been attributed to Warren Buffett, since in Buffett’s first fund he raised $105,000 from 11 doctors, himself placing a token sum of $100.00 as his “skin in the game”;[3][4] William Safire dispelled the Buffet origin.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
skin, n.
colloq. (orig. N. Amer. Business). to have (one’s) skin in the game and variants: to have a stake in the success of something, esp. to have a financial or personal investment in a business; to be closely involved in something.
It is not clear whether the metaphor underlying this phrase is to do with putting oneself at risk (cf. the metonymic uses of sk at Phrases 1c), or with risking one’s money (cf. sense 6); both have been suggested.
1976 Infosystems Mar. 8/1, I suggest that the various groups of participants should consider that they do not have any skin in the game.
1986 Wall St. Jrnl. 7 Apr. 27/5 Others..don’t have their skin in the game the way the marketing rep does.
1995 CIO 1 Feb. 30/3 I’m trying to negotiate an agreement to get the supplier’s skin in the game.

22 March 1992, Marietta (GA) Daily Journal, “Billionaire Perot considers run for president” by Hal Suit, pg. 3D, cols. 2-3:
He says he would encourage supporters to send him just five bucks so, in his words, “they would have skin in the game.”

23 May 1992, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Perot’s petition drive spends $1 million in April” by David Jackson:
Ross Perot’s petition drive spent $1.03 million in April, with nearly $850,000 coming from the Texas billionaire, according to a Federal Election Commission report released Friday.

The report listed more than 7,900 individual contributions of $5 or less. Although Mr. Perot has pledged to finance his campaign, he has asked individuals to send small contributions so they can have “some skin in the game.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Features - DON’T WORK FOR CASH, PUT SKIN IN THE GAME - By taking equity from some of its clients in lieu of fees, the Parthenon Group, a Boston consulting firm, thinks it’s hit upon a win-win formula. Not only does taking stock instead of cash promise bigger eventual paydays, but it leads to stronger bonds with—And better service to—Clients. Not everyone, though, is sure it’s a perfect recipe
Author: Edward O Welles
Publisher: [Boston, MA : United Marine Pub., c1979-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Inc. 21, no. 8, (1999): 56
Database: ArticleFirst

New York (NY) Times
On Language
Skin in the Game

By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Published: September 17, 2006
(...)
The skin in this case is a synecdoche for the self, much as “head” stands for cattle and “sail” for ships. The game is the investment, commitment or gamble being undertaken. Thus, investors in a company will be more comfortable in their own skins if they know that the managers are personally invested as well — that they share the risk and have an incentive to share the gains.
(...)
A call to Warren Buffett to get his recollection of first usage was returned by a spokesman, who denied unequivocally that his boss was the coiner.

The Gateway Pundit
Everyone ‘Must Have Some Skin in the Game’… Obamas to Stay at $7.6 Million Vacation Home
Posted by Jim Hoft on Monday, July 29, 2013, 10:29 AM
Sequester?… What sequester?
The Obamas will stay at $7.6 million home at Martha’s Vineyard.
Back in January 2009, Barack Obama told Americans that,
“Everyone must sacrifice… Everyone must have some skin in the game.”
(Video follows—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, July 25, 2013 • Permalink