"Lame duck" was used on Wall Street before politics. The following item

also beats by two years the DAE on "to corner." This is from the New York

Herald, 27 November 1835, pg. 2, col. 2:

MR. HERALD.--For the information of the uninitiated in the mysteries of

Wall street, will you be so good as to give in your valuable paper as lucid

an explanation as possible of the oft-used phrases "to be a lame duck," and

"to corner."

ANSWER.--First, "a lame duck" is one who cannot fulfil his contracts. If

he is a broker, his name is struck from the rolls of the board, and he cannot

again be admitted till all his engagements are fulfilled. If he is not a

broker, he is cut, and disappears from the street.

"To corner." A single individual, or a party of individuals, who have

actually bought up, and control all the stock of a company, and at the same

time, have employed brokers to buy the same stock _on time_, from third

persons, are said to have "cornered" that stock. It is synonymous to

monopolize or forestall