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Zombie Company is a media term for a company which needs constant bailouts in order to operate. There are several types of Zombie companies. The term regained popularity in the media during 2008 for companies receiving bailouts from the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). A 2002 New York Times article about Japanese companies kept on "life-support" with loans include a headline that stated, "They're Alive! They're Alive! Not!; Japan Hesitates to Put an End to Its 'Zombie' Businesses."[1]


"Zombie Company" is used to describe a pathology in an economy where a failing company continues to operate with government support, but cannot stand on its own. During the financial crisis of February 2009, Newsweek Magazine gave a down arrow to banks in its conventional wisdom watch section saying, "restructure them now, before we get Japanese-style "zombie banks" stalking a lost decade.[2]


  1. ^ James Brooke They're Alive! They're Alive! Not!; Japan Hesitates to Put an End to Its 'Zombie' Businesses October 29, 2002 Business section New York Times [1]
  2. ^ Conventional Wisdom Watch Feb. 23, 2009 page 12 Newsweek Magazine

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