Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

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Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by Henrik on Tue May 10 2011, 15:06

I can't remember if anybody has started one of these threads yet, and since I needed to bitch about somehting I thought it was time we got one here...

Why do we need fine print on contracts?

Seriously, it has become such a widespread hypocrisy with the various disclaimers we always get in fine print on pretty much any contract or other such agreement. In my domain, the banking world, this has been taken to such levels it is not even funny. The thing about them is that basically nobody reads them, and even if they did they would not understand them for the most part. Yet our legal experts oblige us to have these disclaimers because it has become the law, and should we omit them we are liable for some serious legal trouble that could become very costly.

Here is one that I was looking at today, taken from the term sheet of a structured product somebody was proposing to us this morning:

This document has been prepared for information and discussion purposes only. This indicative termsheet does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any security by Exane based on the indicative information set forth herein. Although no issuer is obligated to issue such securities or financial instruments based on the indicative information set forth herein. It is not construed as and does not form part of an offer, nor an invitation to offer, nor a solicitation to buy or sell such securities or financial instruments, or recommendation to enter into any transaction based on the indicative information set forth herein. You should take steps to ensure that you have made an independent assessment of the opportunity and the appropriateness of such transactions, securities or financial instruments in light of the legal, tax and accounting implications and of your own objectives and circumstances, including the possible risks and benefits of entering into such a transaction. These indicative terms and conditions have been relied on the assumption that such assessments will be made. This information is confidential and proprietary. It is accurate only in light of this proposed transaction and will not be disclosed to anybody (except to your professional advisors directly involved in this proposed transaction) without prior written approval from Exane Group.

Okay, so we have somebody trying to sell his product, and he sends this document to you. How are you to understand his action? For me, he is clearly suggesting that I invest in this structured product. However the disclaimer text is somehow telling me otherwise.

Now let’s say I end up investing a part of my hard earned savings in this, and then it tanks and I lose all my money. My normal and human reaction would be to get seriously pissed off at the guy who suggested that I buy the crap, and typical I will then turn to him to ask for some sort of compensation given how he had informed me that this was a very good investment. However, he will then point to the disclaimer and say that it was entirely my decision and basically he has nothing to do with it.

But, if I then take the case to court, I stand a very good chance of winning the case (at least here in Switzerland) because courts here now almost always side with the client against the big bad banks.

So, basically the law dictates that banks have these disclaimers on their documents to ensure that clients are not fooled into buying something they don’t really want, but then when the client still does the law then tells the banks that those disclaimers don’t really mean anything and you can’t expect somebody to actually read and understand them.

Which brings me then to my opening question, why do we need the fine print on contracts?

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by Gelert on Tue May 10 2011, 19:13

Henrik wrote:This document has been prepared for information and discussion purposes only. This indicative termsheet does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any security by Gelert based on the indicative information set forth herein. Although no issuer is obligated to issue such securities or financial instruments based on the indicative information set forth herein. It is not construed as and does not form part of an offer, nor an invitation to offer, nor a solicitation to buy or sell such securities or financial instruments, or recommendation to enter into any transaction based on the indicative information set forth herein. You should take steps to ensure that you have made an independent assessment of the opportunity and the appropriateness of such transactions, securities or financial instruments in light of the legal, tax and accounting implications and of your own objectives and circumstances, including the possible risks and benefits of entering into such a transaction. These indicative terms and conditions have been relied on the assumption that such assessments will be made. This information is confidential and proprietary. It is accurate only in light of this proposed transaction and will not be disclosed to anybody (except to your professional advisors directly involved in this proposed transaction) without prior written approval from The Shamu Group.

I feel a new signature coming on...

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by Gelert on Tue May 10 2011, 19:26

Mosley loses UK media law case
Tuesday, May 10th 2011, 09:43 GMT http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91310

Former FIA president Max Mosley has lost his court case on UK media law, in which the Briton tried to get British newspapers to warn people before exposing parts of their private lives.

Mosley had asked the European Court of Human Rights to change media law in the UK after the News of the World newspaper had made revelations about his sex life three years ago.

The court, however, ruled against Mosley on Tuesday.

"The court is of the view that article 8 does not require a legally binding pre-notification requirement. Accordingly, the court concludes that there has been no violation of article 8 of the convention by the absence of such a requirement in domestic law," said the court in a statement.


I love small print - it's the best kind-of "between big print and unreadable print" system that we've got...

I love the phrase "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously". It was coined by Noam Chomsky as an example of nonsense. The individual words make sense and are indeed arranged according to proper grammatical rules, yet the result is nonsense.


Who exactly are these authors...?

Jabberwockies eating too many Mairzy Doats on expenses probably...

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by TopContender on Wed May 11 2011, 00:12

You want to end this fine print crap? Easy, just shoot the lawyers. I am not a fan of communist, but Stalin had that one action right.
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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by da silva on Wed May 11 2011, 03:07

TopContender wrote:You want to end this fine print crap? Easy, just shoot the lawyers. I am not a fan of communist, but Stalin had that one action right.

The problem lies not with the Lawyers, they exist only to try to interprete the law. The Lawmakers are the issue. shamusmile
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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by gueuzeman on Mon May 16 2011, 01:46

Most construction blueprints have a little box on the bottom saying- " For estimate purposes only, not for construction."

so I need to bid the job on something that may or may not be the case. Great.

My "contracts" are laughably simple word documents. I almost always get paid. Except once- don't buy any Steely Dan music please.

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by Henrik on Mon May 16 2011, 08:10

Are you serious about the construction blueprints?! So when constructing something, nobody actually commits to any building plans?

That is just typical. Something goes wrong with the contruction, and the guy who designed it says "well that was just for an estimate. It wasn't meant to built that way..."

Oh well....

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by Gelert on Mon May 16 2011, 10:08

Engineering Drawings normally have the following addendums:
1) For Quotation Purposes Only / Draft Copy Only.
2) Approved for Manufacture.
3) Historical / Archive / As Built.

Other clues to the state of the accuracy of the drawing include the index of modifications to the drawing - and whether the drawing has been counter-signed as "Checked by [person's name]"...

Personally, I won't build to a drawing that doesn't have any of the above addendums - and I will hesitate to build to one that hasn't been checked by a traceable individual.

Finally, in the UK, there is a significant legal difference between an "Estimate" and a "Quotation". An Estimate is exactly that - a guide price that may fluctuate in all events. A Quotation is a price that must be honoured by the supplier to supply the services / materials for the project as quoted.
If the project exceeds its quoted scope-of-supply, that is when the price should be re-negotiated...and BEFORE the work starts and / or continues.

My two-penneth (estimated, not quoted...)

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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

Post by gueuzeman on Mon May 16 2011, 13:26

yeah, what he said.
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Re: Bitch Baby, Just Bitch!!!

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