Write off

We sometimes refer to something in the vernacular as a total write off - and the idea is pretty much the same here.

When something is written off it means that it determined to be totally worthless as an asset.

It is literal in that the asset is literally written off (removed) from the books. Typically loans are written off. A large series of write offs can be bad news for any company and of course financial institutions as seen in the credit crunch where many loans and strange financial products were either heavily written down or actively written off as bad debts destabilising the capital position of those financial institutions.

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