It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Watch out for fly wings in Westminster – cliche day at the blog

Posted by chrisrick13 on June 24, 2014

It is obvious: I mean what I say

Jargon is essential.  In a complex environment you can communicate large amounts of information very quickly sure that the other practitioners will understand exactly what you mean.  As a doctor I can talk about an ECG or NFN and another doctor will know exactly what I am saying.

It is also essential, particularly in professions thin on complexity, to provide barriers to entry thus keeping the environment exclusive and expensive to hire.

The Treasury select committee pulled the wings off the governor of the BoE today.  (Jargon in there!)  What was noticeable was that he used more and more words in his answers that had no clear definition.  For example he used the word ‘momentum’ which I know is Mass*Velocity.  I cannot think where that might fit into economics without some very detailed description.  Indeed one of the factors is Velocity and not speed so even with a good analogy in place, a direction is required and he did not give a direction for his momentum, whatever he meant by it.

In short he had no legs to stand on and now no wings to fly with.  He was not given nearly a hard enough time though.  The simple follow-up is to ask what anyone means by a bit of jargon that they use and to keep asking on all the words that are fuzzy: what do you mean by…

The best was the short question on forward guidance where the MP nicely showed that the guidance was neither forward nor guidance.

It is obvious: I mean what I say and I’ll tell you what that is when I can make it fit what has happened

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