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The Jolly Contrarian’s Dictionary

The snippy guide to financial services lingo.™


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Obligation /ˌɒblɪˈgeɪʃən/ (n.)
What one must do, whether by the terms of a contract, the non-contractual civil law, determined by reference to your neighbours, and those to whom you foolishly pay money, your conscience, or the criminal law. In most of those magisteria — all of the ones the JC is concerned with, really — the consequences of failing to perform ones obligations is a liability; not exclusively, in the criminal law, or ever in moral terms however. One of the best ways of converting a moral obligation into a something else is to put a monetary value on it, as those kindergarten teachers in Israel once discovered.

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