Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 04, 2000

In Reply to: "Green-mail" posted by Frankie on April 04, 2000

: Heard a phrase in a movie "green-mail" it was used in a similar fashion as "black-mail" but I've never heard of "Green-mail". Can anyone also tell me how these expressions came about?

Greenmail is a financial term with green being the color of American paper currency.

In particular, the term refers to a situation where a person or corporation, called the "raider", starts to accumulate an unfriedly ownership interest in an other corporation called the "target". The target corporation, sensing the
negativity involved in having a new owner, will sometimes offer the raider cash to stop the hostilities. This offering of cash to the raider by the target is called greenmail.