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CNBC's Dirty Pool Boys

Business, and business reporting, depends on analogies and metaphors to explain complicated ideas and financial instruments in easier-to-understand terms.

In recent days, we've heard phrases such as:

"Pushing on a string:" To take action that provides no result. If you push on a string, instead of pull on it, it won't go anywhere. You know, because it's limp.


"Catching a falling knife:" This means to try to predict where stocks will bottom out. You may catch the knife, but you'll slice a finger or two off in the process.

On CNBC just now, Dylan Ratigan and Joe Terranova just stretched a metaphor to its painful -- and icky -- end.

They were comparing the stock market, which is roaring to close to 400 points as it approaches the close today, to a swimming pool, which is dirty with bad assets.

"We're seeing a market that wants to go higher . . . but they need to know the pool has been properly cleaned," Terranova said.

"Is anyone cleaning the pool properly, so normal fund managers can get back into the pool?" Ratigan asked.

"We have seen them clean the pool but they don't trust that the pool has been cleaned," Terranova said. "People just dive back en masse on their own."

"So you're saying we won't get a lasting rally until we actually get a clean pool?" Ratigan asked.

Fellas, fellas: We just ate lunch, okay?

-- Frank Ahrens

The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 24, 2008; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: business metaphors  
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