In business, consolidation can be achieved through acquisitions and mergers. There has, for instance, been a process of consolidation in the world's stock markets, culminating in the proposed merger of the London and Toronto Stock Exchanges. But you can consolidate other things: debts, for instance, or loans. The Government is pursuing a policy of 'fiscal consolidation' to strengthen its financial position. Consolidation can also mean the process of turning past gains into something more lasting. In this way, newly promoted football managers, anxious to avoid relegation, and generals, keen to hold on to ground they have gained, both talk of consolidation. The word comes from the Latin verb consolidare, to make firm or solid. When it appeared in English, early in the 15th century, it meant the process by which wounds close up and bones knit together. A slow process, then, but hopefully a permanent one.
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