“Baked in(to) the cake” means that the expected future of a stock, for example, is reflected in (or “factored in”) its current price. If a company is projected to be successful, that projection will be “baked in the cake” and reflected in a higher present stock price. If a company is projected to go out of business, that will be “baked in the cake” in a very low stock price.
Walter Wriston (1919-2005), a chief executive of Citibank from 1967 to 1984, was quoted in Time magazine of October 30, 1978:
“Diocletian tried controls in 301 A.D. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now. It’s baked in the cake that we’re going to have a recession in 1980.”
baked in the cake
Phrase used to describe influential information, such as projected earnings or unconfirmed news reports that are already included in the stock’s market price.
adj. built in or into (a process, a system, a deal, a financial exchange, etc.).
1980 Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) (July 1) “Import curbs” (in Detroit, Michigan) p. B2: Otherwise, he said, all of the growth that has redounded to the Japanese this year will be baked in on a longer term basis while what the domestic industry “needs more than anything else is volume.”
1985 Frederic A. Miller, John E. Pluenneke @ Bonn, Germany BusinessWeek (June 17) “American Bulls Are Running In Frankfurt”: The key reason for the foreign inflow, says Chilton Thomson, a director of American Express Asset Management in London, is that “a good deal of the profit is already baked in the cake.”
Wikipedia: Walter Wriston
Walter Bigelow Wriston (August 3, 1919 – January 19, 2005) was a banker and former chairman and CEO of Citicorp. As chief executive of Citibank / Citicorp (later Citigroup) from 1967 to 1984, Wriston was widely regarded as the single most influential commercial banker of his time. During his tenure as CEO, the bank introduced, among other innovations, automated teller machines, interstate banking, the negotiable certificate of deposit, and “pursued the credit card business in a way that no other bank was doing at the time.” With then New York Governor Hugh Carey and investment banker Felix Rohatyn, Wriston helped save New York City from bankruptcy in the mid-1970s by setting up the Financial Control Board and the Municipal Assistance Corporation, and persuading the city’s union pension funds and banks to buy the latter corporation’s bonds.
30 October 1978, Time magazine, “Business: Fun and Expletives Repleted: As they meet, corporate chiefs see some modest gains ahead,” pg. 122:
Citibank Chief Walter Wriston leaned back in a soft couch and remarked: “Diocletian tried controls in 301 A.D. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now. It’s baked in the cake that we’re going to have a recession in 1980.”
2 November 1978, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Quotable Quote,” pg. 10B, col. 2:
WALTER WRISTON, Citicorp chairman, on a recession in 1980: “It’s already baked in the cake.”
It’s baked in the cake. A phrase employed to suggest that something irreversible has been set in motion; associated especially with Citicorp Chairman Walter Wriston’s remark in October about the certainty of a recession in 1980.
Google News Archive
13 December 1980, The Financial Post (CA), “U.S. tilts to new recession” by Hyman Solomon, pg. 1, col. 4:
Even Reagan officials see little relief in sight.
“The combination of higher interest rates and inflation is going to create a renewed recession. I’m afraid it’s baked in the cake,” says Charls Walker, former Treasury Department official and a senior Reagan economics adviser.
Google News Archive
3 March 1981, Miami (FL) News, “CETA job feeze shapes up as key Reagan test” by Andrew J. Glass (Cox News Service), pg. 6A, col. 6:
The performance of the economy for the next seven or eight months, Stockman said, was “baked in the cake already.” Yet he said that he didn’t know how the recipe would come out.
(President Reagan’s budget chief David Stockman—ed.)
Aug. 21, 2001, 2:27 p.m. EDT
The tilt tells the tale
Read the statement to find out where Fed is going
By Dr. Irwin Kellner, CBS.MarketWatch.com
NEW YORK (CBS.MW)—Another Federal Open Market Committee meeting, another interest rate cut. So what else is new? More important, is that all there is?
Check the tilt for the answer.
As the former Citibank chairman Walter Wriston used to say, Tuesday’s rate cut was “baked in the cake.” In other words, this latest reduction in the Federal Reserve’s key short-term interest rate , the seventh in a row, has long been priced into the financial markets.
baked in the cake
1) a situation that is so involved and interwoven which is basically impossible to be fully extricated
2) Something which is so obvious or basically impossible to avoid
3) already reflected in a stock’s market price by the expected information such as projected earning or unconfirmed news report
A serious global recession is baked in the cake
The dilemma of long-lasting unemployment rate is baked in the cake
The interest hike at the Fed’s next meeting is baked in the cake
by vanderpol Sep 5, 2010
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, May 24, 2012 • Permalink