Vomit-Inducing Monetary Euphemisms

There are many euphemisms involving the bathroom (which itself is a euphemism). Rest room, wash room, W.C. (water closet), little boys/girls room, lavatory, powder room, latrine, etc.

But seemingly running a close second on the list of most euphemisms must be money. Building on Tim McAlpine’s Crapspeak blog post, I am SO sick and tired of all the euphemisms surrounding money, especially in this economic crisis. We need more straight talk, not more obfuscation.

So here are my most despised monetary euphemisms:

Liquidity – GAAAAAAAH. I will BARF the next time I hear the word liquidity used in the context of a credit crisis. Sure, it’s useful to think of money going from one place to another as a stream which is flowing. But the whole point of money is that you can COUNT it. It’s discrete, not wishy-washy. Money is exchanged in individual transactions. Perhaps part of this whole problem is that too many people think of money as a river that is constantly flowing.

Dislocations – PHFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTT! I just came across this in the NCUA Stabilization letter they want all credit unions to share with their members. In it, the letter basically states that the NCUA has been forced to take your money from your credit union because of “dislocations in the mortgage market.” Bulls**t! That makes it sound like things were going along, peachy-keen, and all of a sudden someone tripped and fractured a collarbone. The truth is, U.S. Central FCU got caught up in investing in risky CDOs along with everyone else. That has nothing to do with “dislocations” which also implies that there is a proper location for the shady practice of obfuscating investment vehicles by slicing and dicing consumer mortgages into so many tranches that they become indecipherable. Speaking of tranches…

Tranche – Another word for layer or level, but those who use this word want to sound like a pompous f***tard by using a French word instead.

Toxic asset – Every time someone uses this term, they should be fined $100 which gets paid to the U.S. Treasury. We’d be out of debt in no time. This term is so stupid it has no meaning. Who wants a toxic asset? Exactly no one. No one would ever buy a toxic asset. But in truth, unless it comes with a small dose of radiation, no asset is actually toxic. If it were easy to determine if an asset were toxic or not, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. There are better assets and worse assets. We need to value assets ACCURATELY, not banish them with perjorative, black and white terms that help no one understand the truth of the matter.

Money-good – Apparently this term was bandied about on Wall Street, as in “this investment is a sure thing, it’s money good.” As we are learning first hand, nothing is “money good” not even the U.S. government’s treasury bills, which it can not keep on printing forever without throwing the economy into an inflationary death spiral that would eventually make the U.S. dollar worthless. Besides, the whole purpose of investing is to make a return on your dollars. This phrase is designed solely for the purpose of trying to get the other person not to think about the real issues.

What monetary euphemisms get your goat?

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13 Responses to “Vomit-Inducing Monetary Euphemisms”

  1. Jeffry Pilcher Says:

    A “vomit-inducing euphemism” is repetitively redundant.

  2. Credit Union Warrior/Matt Davis Says:

    systemic risk
    cram-down
    exposure
    bubble
    capital infusion
    subprime
    upside down

  3. Ross Graham Says:

    Believe it or not … “tranche” came up in conversation this weekend. I don’t remember how. I don’t remember who with. And I’m thankful for that. I don’t want to judge them negatively. Too negatively anyhow.

  4. Ginny Brady Says:

    “Mark to Market” is a good one. It makes it sound like a line from a nursery rhyme.

  5. Tim McAlpine Says:

    Stabilization. Let’s forget about all of the opportunity to grow the credit union legions and let’s just stabilize things back to zero member growth and a slow downward spiral. Yay!

  6. Christian Mullins Says:

    Like Renee Zellweger or even Charley Steiner for you long time ESPN fans…

    …you had me at Vomit. You had me at Vomit.

  7. Jeffry Pilcher Says:

    I dunno… “cram down” seems pretty accurate and descriptive. I’m not sure I could have come up with a better explanative term.

  8. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Tim – Re: stabilization- good one. That’s why I prefer to refer to it as the “NCUA Corporate Stab Program.” Much more accurate and descriptive. 😉

  9. Credit Union Warrior Says:

    @Jeffry In that they’re “crammed down” lenders’ throats? Good point.

  10. GeorgeH Says:

    Pay to play

  11. bubba gump Says:

    How about this description for of a portion of investments held on a corporates books-(I actually heard this on a member conference call!!!)

    ‘This portfolio represents the highest propensity for further disapointment’

    meaning these are going down the crapper real soon!!!

  12. Morriss Partee Says:

    Here’s another one from the NCUA explanation of US Central and Wescorp conservatorship: “distressed assets”

  13. Tony Mannor Says:

    You had me at F***tard

    I just want to know why these terms are created and repeated. Do the people who use them feel smarter that they know some jargon? Or is it my frustration with all things financial at the national level that has cranked up my intolerance for the cute colloquialisms?

    Maybe this is how the naysayers get away with naysaying without resorting to saying “We’re all going to DIE, DIE, DIE, YEEAAARGH!”

    I say toss out the Animal Farm thesaurus and lets say it how it is.

    Stop hiding the tarnished obvious behind gilded buzzwords.

    ::rant over::

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