Doubleplus Good Financespeak

Has anyone noticed how the vocablary of the finance industry is heavily laden with moral overtones?

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Consider the following list of financial terms and the images they conjure: `assurance’, `bond’, `credit’, `consolidation’, `equity’, `interest’, ‘mutual’, ‘obligation’, `redemption’, `reconciliation’, ‘security’, `trust’, ‘venture’. I wonder how many of these terms have their origins in the Protestant business philisophy of the nineteenth century – that wealthiness is next to godliness.

Even the trashy housing loans that got us into this mess are called “sub-prime”, which to me sounds like a cut of beef only slightly more chewy than eye fillet. “Lambs to the slaughter” might have been a more honest marketing strategy.

And my favourite bit of financial jargon is ‘efficient market hypothesis’ as Doublespeak for complete bloody randomness. ?


Author: Chris J. Lloyd

Professor of Business Statistics, Melbourne Business School

2 thoughts on “Doubleplus Good Financespeak”

  1. Some of the weasal words used by 20 and 30 something financial commentators are interesting too,such as:-
    in this space,going forward,positive territory,players,franchises we have got,revenue stream,into that box,accretive,end of the day,play out,retracement-to name just a few!


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