Zombie Companies: Nightmare on Wall Street

How stocks can essentially become animated corpses.

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A curious investing buzzword (or buzz term) has been popping up on blogs and in the news lately: Zombie companies. Bernanke even used the word "zombie" yesterday in front of the Senate Banking Committee when he refuted charges that Citigroup and Bank of America--both candidates for nationalization--are "zombie banks," meaning they're essentially insolvent, according to the Washington Times.

Zombie companies are like animated corpses: they generate little or no profit for shareholders over extended periods and their shares are pretty much worthless. "They're just there," as Turner Investment Partners chief investment officer told MarketBeat.

For a better idea, check out the blog's frightful list of zombie candidates. They include AIG and E.W. Scripps.