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March 5, 2012


By Spear's

The fourth instalment of our lexicographical endeavour, a dictionary for the super-wealthy
Jaguar: Is it a car? Is it a cat? It’s a combination of the two, a feline which can go from 0-60 in four seconds.

Jersey: Sweater; low tax jurisdiction. See also: New Jersey; Jersey Boys.

Jewellery: This is what a wife gets for a wedding anniversary and what a mistress gets instead of a wedding anniversary.

Jurisdiction: This is the place where you keep your money. Each one has different rules, like games; for example, if you’re no good at bridge (London), you might prefer to switch to chemin de fer (Monaco) or Russian roulette (Moscow).

Kazakhstan: A rapidly developing Central Asian nation and possibly the missing K in the BRICs. Little-known fact: The K in the cereal Special K stands for Kazakhstan.

King, Mervyn: Not King Mervyn (however much he might fancy it) but Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England. You know all that new money that keeps piling up inside your bank which keeps you warm as you burn it? You can thank him for that.

Lawyers: Practitioners of the law, that combination of rhetoric, cunning and brute force. They are friendly people who start a stopwatch as soon as you say hello to them. Despite their ‘heretofores’ and ‘whereunders’, they are an approachable species.

Leverage: This is when an individual or corporation borrows money — many times their worth — which they have no intention of paying back.

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Liquidity: Access to ready cash. This is useful when buying assets or paying off disgruntled employees/lovers.
See also: Leverage.

London: The global capital of the super-wealthy where all is arranged to suit your needs — the priority system in restaurant bookings, amenable educational institutions for your children, the law. HNW London is rather small, extending only from Kensington to the City, although there are rumours that other people live in the gloom beyond. See also: Mayfair.

Louche: Outside the HNW world, this is a term of criticism, but within it is one of approbation. Example: ‘Oh look, Giles has lapsed into a caviar-induced coma. How louche!’

Luxury: This officially ceased to mean anything in 2008, around the time that package holidays to Ayia Napa were first described as ‘luxury’. Its replacement is ‘bespoke’, although this is almost equally meaningless.
Madoff, Bernie: Convicted Ponzi schemer. Like the infinite number of possessors of fragments of the True Cross, every wealth manager in London has a note from their Madoff meeting that says ‘Do not invest’ — even the ones who invested with him.

Malus: When a bonus is recouped because of poor performance. Stop laughing.

Mayfair: The centre of the global capital of the super-wealthy. It has been rumoured that hedge funds on Berkeley Square and restaurants on Mount Street have lobbied for Mayfair to secede from the UK and set up its own border controls.

Millionaire: Who wants to be a millionaire? No one these days. It’s all about the billionaires. See also: Billionaire.

Mobility, Social
(archaic): The system whereby one might advance, through education and hard work, to a better stage of life. This has been abolished in favour of ‘Keeping everything exactly as it is’.

Money Money Money: I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay. Ain’t it sad…

Mosley, Max: HNWs ought to shake Max Mosley’s hand (or give him a firm spank on the bottom) in gratitude for his efforts at extending the right to privacy.

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