Friday, December 11, 2009

If You Have Nothing Good to Say . . .

Yesterday, Goldman Sacks announced that they're making some very minor changes to their executive bonuses. Dennis Berman translates the text of their press release, which turns out to say very little. Normal corporate press releases explain what a company has done in plain English so that reporters can investigate and write them up for general consumption, but Goldman Sacks's press release does the opposite: it says very little in very complicated language. Tortuous language is often telling because it's a great tool for giving false impressions. Take, for example, Sarah Palin. Her reliance on empty buzzwords is not unlike Goldman Sack's use of vague legalese to hype an almost meaningless, one-time change in their bonus payouts. And yet, Palin has convinced many that she is knowledgeable on a wide range of issues, despite the fact that see seems to talk almost exclusively in prepositional phrases and dependent clauses. Similarly, Goldman hopes you think they're finally getting tough and tackling the serious problems in the way they do business and reward their employees and executives.

GNC Holiday Promo

Anyone else find this disturbing?