Translation: Goldman Sachs to English

Bankers' lingo reveals firm's real intentions, if you know how to read it
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2010 2:15 PM CDT
A TV monitor in the Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows Fabrice Tourre testifying before a Senate panel, April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – The Senate panel investigating Goldman Sachs will have an easier job if it embraces one profound truth, Jonathan Weil writes for Bloomberg: "What you must realize, foremost, is that Goldman's employees speak their own distinct language." Some translations:

  • Sophisticated, as in "among the most sophisticated mortgage investors in the world," means "susceptible to predators, all in all an easy mark."

  • A market maker is a firm that "usually employs at least one French-speaking broker who takes orgasmic pleasure in persuading widows and orphans to buy CDOs that he thinks were designed to fail."
  • The PR term hedged creates 'the outward impression that a Wall Street bank never bore any risk," but beware: "Effective only when the actual facts are unverifiable."
  • Blindside: "To catch a Wall Street bank off guard about a material event, such as an SEC fraud lawsuit."
To see the complete list, click here.

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