Chip Lowry chief operating officer at Currenex, Inc
Chip Lowry chief operating officer at Currenex, Inc

Beyond the Jargon The four key elements of technology

It seems as if every few months there is an article or panel discussion that appropriates a new catchphrase to sum up our industry’s current fixation with the latest technology. These colloquialisms form the vernacular to communicate complex issues. Vendors adopt the “insider talk” to market and promote services to clients based on their technological acumen. For many of these clients, however, the essential details underlying their technical jargon may not be obvious — or even available.

We use an endless list of jargon to orient ourselves to the electronic FX business. Appraisal of our most common FX terms shows how arbitrary they can be when used without context. For instance, “straight-through processing” is so important to the efficiencies of electronic trading that it has its own acronym, “STP,” yet it encompasses any number of different procedures from treasury management system workflow to trade positioning and hedging by retail brokers. Other examples include “best execution” and “algorithmic trading,” both of which are black holes with infinite applications that forbid any uniform application of the terms. And let’s not forget “internalization,” the jargon du jour used at our latest panel discussions and seminars. This term is often applied to suggest some novel patented technology; meanwhile, it really isn’t more than a newfangled label for flow optimization. The prevalence of blanket terms can lead to...continued

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