Translating Corporate Speak: Grab Bag Edition

by Mr Juggles

Corporate Speak: “No one in the marketplace knew how swiftly the housing market would fall — not the Federal Reserve, not the Treasury,” said Ted Eliopoulos, head of Calpers’s real-estate portfolio, in an interview.
Translation: I have just invested tons of money at the absolute top and lost 103% of what I put into the deals due to using recourse debt. I am a moron. I could not have predicted the housing market would fall. No one could have…other than Ron Paul, John Paulson, Robert Shiller, and Long or Short Capital.

Corporate Speak: “Could our margins go up? They could absolutely go up.” -CEO of Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) on 12/16/08 conf call.

Translation: Have you noticed that we have lost money for the last four, seasonally strong holiday quarters? Our margins are definitely not going up.

Corporate Speak: “Moreover, I think we’re trying to emphasize that these times are indeed very uncertain. Without trying to sugar coat the story, because it’s not our nature. We feel really good about the position we’re in.” -CEO of TTWO
Translation: We are sugar coating our story and it is, in fact, our nature.

Corporate Speak: “I am qualified to be Senator of New York.” -Caroline Kennedy
Translation: My qualifications for this position include a fancy last name, not holding a full-time job, not holding any political office, and writing books for children. I am definitely not qualified to be Senator of New York.

Related Reseach:

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  1. December 19th, 2008 | 9:26 am

    Soooo easyyyy.

    Anyhoo, when is LoSC Executive Advisors opening for business? Clearly, the need for such services exists ^

  2. FuManChu
    December 19th, 2008 | 9:53 am

    Corporate Speak: “Even though we think M-rated content is much more appropriate for the PS3 or 360, we have to look at the Wii as a viable platform across all our labels. We have to, because we can’t ignore the installed base. You just can’t.” – CEO of TTWO

    Translation: We thought we’d ignore the installed base fof the Wii as it was obviously just a fad. We messed up, but we’re not going to admit it. We still think it’s a fad, but we’ll jump on the bandwagon anyway.

  3. December 19th, 2008 | 1:04 pm

    Corporate Speak: We have come to the conclusion it’s in the best interest of our shareholders to segregate level 3 assets and other troubled semi-liquid assets for the purpose of funding the corporate executive bonus pool as opposed to cash. Any movements in these assets going forward would be offset with corresponding adjusting entries to employee compensation expense.

    Translation: Bottom line: this is a way we can imbed (based on our fantastic models) hidden compensation into our already exorbitant bonus structure. We over wrote down these assets to a point where we think more than all the risk has been dumped on the common equity holders. The fair value of our CMBS pool is $.45 on the dollar and we will price them at transfer at $.25. That way we stand to make “dirty cash” level gains on them in the next 18 months writing up these over impaired assets. Gains we absolutely do not want to share with the common equity holders of the firm we have pillaged. Losses, however, we are more than happy to share with the common equity holders.