If in doubt, stick it in

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If in doubt, stick it in.” A finger-post to the nearest negotiation oubliette.

Known as Casanova’s advice or the Credit officer’s refrain, this is an admonition that rings daily around the cloistered spaces of every institution but is only offered, in these pages, with a generous helping of irony.

Better advice: murder your darlings. Or, as our brethren lawyers would say, subject one’s darlings, or procure that such darlings are subjected to, culpable homicide.

There are two kinds of pointless things we habitually stick in contracts: absurd asks by the risk team, which all at the coalface know will be just as habitually rejected by any counterparty advisor with a pulse, even if the senior risk team draw come kind of delusional comfort from the fact they such terms are being sought at all; the other is matters of tedious compliance — be they accommodations of misconceived pedantries buried in developing regulation or internal policy overreactions brought about during the recovery process from blunt trauma — in either case resulting in gnomic confections piped into the back end of your contract templates like so much kitchen dirt swept under a rug, only to fossilise there, unloved, undisturbed, until overlaid with yet more scar tissue.

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