What's the difference between a bond and a debenture?
Are they simply different words used to mean the same thing? (e.g. debenture sounds more business-like than bond).
Investopedia has definitions for both:
Debenture: A type of debt instrument that is not secured by physical asset or collateral.
Bond: A debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a fixed interest rate.
Wikipedia's entry for debenture says:
In some countries [debenture] is used interchangeably with bond, loan stock or note.
Seems to me that there's not much difference.
Some additional links which explain their differences. But mostly as @bstpierre says, both are very similar and in some cases the terms may be used inter changeably