I am an avid reader of Seeking Alpha - I believe it is one of the best sites to get a broad picture of the financial world we live in. That being said, after reading a few articles today, it is not wonder that Wall Street and Main Street don't talk the same language. I'm just going to pull a few terms out of today's articles to prove my point...
Backwardation is a futures market term: the situation in which, and the amount by which, the price of a commodity for future delivery is lower than the spot price, or a far future delivery price lower than a nearer future delivery.
Contango is a term used in the futures market to describe an upward sloping forward curve (as in the normal yield curve). One says that such a forward curve is "in contango" (or sometimes "contangoed"). Formally, it is the situation where, and the amount by which, the price of a commodity for future delivery is higher than the spot price, or a far future delivery price higher than a nearer future delivery.
Now I realize there is a "lingo" for Wall Street - just like their is in any industry. It allows "insiders" to know and "outsiders" to wonder. And if you don't speak the language, and you are left behind, then that's just too bad. But here's the problem -- many of our lawmakers are not insiders. They don't know these terms any better than you or I and guess what? They are actually in the middle of creating laws to protect us. Think that through, they are not experts on the subject [so they have to rely on experts], most don't understand derivatives, options, calls, spreads, valuation models. But they are going to create and pass laws that will have long term consequences.
To me, all this Wall Street mess boils down to one thing - GREED. And there is one thing I know, you can't regulate greed - it will always find a way into the system. I still believe the statement by James Allen sums it up..."Circumstances do not make the man, they merely reveal him for who he already was" or as Ted Turner said once, "money does not make the man, it only makes him more of what he already was".