Translation: Goldman Sachs to English

Bankers' lingo reveals firm's real intentions, if you know how to read it
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2010 2:15 PM CDT
Translation: Goldman Sachs to English
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)

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. (More Goldman Sachs stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.