A few months ago I was speaking with journalist Katy Burne at the Wall Street Journal. I now forget what she asked me, but whatever it was, I had covered the topic in depth in one of my recent blogs. “Don’t you read my blogs?” I asked.
Katy responded “To be honest, I try to, but your blogs are a bit Inside Baseball.”
I was crushed. And only vaguely familiar with what she meant. But I knew it couldn’t possibly be a complement.
Wikipedia gives us the definition:The phrase “inside baseball” refers to a detail-oriented approach to the minutiae of a subject, which in turn requires such a specific knowledge about what is being discussed that the nuances are not understood or appreciated by outsiders.
I then looked at a couple recent blog headlines (actually these were written by my colleague Amir Khwaja) and realized she might be onto something. They included catchy titles such as:
So I get it, we’re financial technology geeks. To help “outsiders” (as Wikipedia defines some of you) to understand our blog posts, I thought it worthwhile to put together a brief glossary of terms and acronyms that are often used in the modern lexicon of over-the-counter derivatives. That glossary can be found here, and we intend to keep it up to date. We’ve also leveraged a great tool on WordPress that facilitates the readers understanding of these terms, such that the first time they are used in a blog, the user gets the chance to hover over them and see our definition.
So from now on, you’ll be able to understand when someone says:
I traded an OTC IRS butterfly yesterday. Because the components of the package are MAT and were not block, it was a Required Transaction, so I traded it on SEF. Only one bank responded to my RFQ so I tried the CLOB at one of the IDB’s. The Credit Hub’s can’t process packages yet, so I struggled. Once executed, it got sent to an SDR, so it showed up on my Clarus SDRView application quickly. Today, I was surprised to see that my FCM is charging me massive IM, they claim it’s only a 10% markup on what the DCO charges them. I used the Clarus CHARM API to verify that it wasn’t a mistake.
Welcome to the ballpark, slugger.