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 February 19, 2011
Foam the Runway

An airport foams a runway when a crash landing is expected, minimizing the impact of the crash. The financial markets have long used the airplane language of a “soft landing” or a “hard landing” or a “crash landing” or a “crash.” To “foam the runway” in business means to prop up a failing company with an infusion of cash, preventing an immediate bankruptcy filing.

“Foam the runway” appears to have been cited in print since at least 1989 and was listed in a book of business jargon in 2005, but the term remains little-used.


Investopedia
What Does Foam The Runway Mean?
A term indicating the last-minute infusion of cash into a company about to go bankrupt. Airports foam runways prior to an imminent crash landing to help reduce friction and sparks. Just as foaming the runway is a last stand against a horrible crash landing, a company obtaining a loan to stay in business is a last stand against going under.

“Foam the runway” is also a general statement in business, which refers to preparing for a potential disaster.

Google Books
Business Week
1989
Pg. 350:
Few Fed policymakers, however, see any need, as one senior official puts it, to “foam the runway.”

Google Books
Green Weenies and Due Diligence:
Insider Business Jargon—raw, serious and sometimes funny business and deal terms from an entrepreneur’s diary that you won’t get from school or a dictionary

By Ron Sturgeon
Lynden, WA: M. French Pub.
2005
Pg. 28:
Foam the runway — A last-minute loan or capital infusion arranged by a company about to run out of money. Without “foaming the runway,” their plane will certainly crash and burn.
USE: “If that big loan last week hadn’t foamed the runway for us, we definitely would have gone out of business.”

MarketWatch First Take
Sept. 30, 2008, 12:51 p.m. EDT
The ground is coming up fast
Commentary: Time to foam the runway as home prices plummet

CHICAGO (MarketWatch)—The decline in home prices across the country accelerated in July, and there doesn’t appear to be anything that will level the dive out in time to prevent a crash landing.

Quoteland
maudley
Posted 07-24-10 01:02 AM
This quote is actually about greed.
Pigs go to market, hogs go to slaughter means the pig survives.
As for the Hog, Foam the runway.

Florida Sportsman Forums
Foam the runway, 2010 economic belly landing.
DEFCON-1
September 20, 2010 - 9:54am
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/business/20wall.html
Wall Street’s Profit Engines Slow Down
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
Inside the great investment houses on Wall Street, business has taken a surprising turn — downward.

Even after taxpayer bailouts restored bankers’ profits and pay, the great Wall Street money machine is decelerating. Big financial institutions, including commercial banks, are still making a lot of money. But given unease in the financial markets and the economy, brokerages and investment banks are not making nearly as much as their executives, employees and investors had hoped. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Saturday, February 19, 2011 • Permalink