The funny side of financial terminology

In the recent BBC Worldservice programme “In the Balance” management consultant turned comedian Colm O’Regan came up with an amusing take on some of the financial jargon that pervades the media.

Finance can be a bewildering world. The mashinations of big business and government as they dice with huge amounts of money involves jargon and financial terminology that make the mind boggle. Here are some of his explanations:

Bankia – a bank in Spain which requires a bailout as it indulged in too much speculation in the Spanish real estate market or what is know as banky panky.

Capitalisation – using upper-case letters in an email expressing your rage a the lack of money in the bank’s reserves

Fiscal Compact – a rather shoddily built container where Europe hopes to have its make-up. If you examine it too deeply, the foundation falls out. However if you don’t have it, you’ll be going out without your face on. And things could get ugly.

EFSF – European Finance Sometimes Fails – a whip round for people in your social circle when they are in trouble.

ESM – Even Spain Might – if bigger friends get into trouble you are going to need a bigger whip round.

Eurobonds – the friends you make among opposing fans at the European Football Championship. These realtionships eventhough they are soaked in beer and you can’t speak the other person’s language can be very intense. These bonds stand a better chance of lasting than the actual eurobonds.

LTRO – long-term refinancing operation – the distribution of large sums of money to badly behaved recipients regardless of whether they deserve it or not. A bit like being a parent.

Maastricht – a previous European Treaty requiring financial discipline with regard to government deficits. Unfortunately it was ignored and so was called the “Mass Not So Strict Treaty”. So now Europe needs another agreement called the Stability or “Much Mass Stricter Treaty”.

Turning a corner – what an Irish economy does before something even worse happens – usually the reappearance of Greece.

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