Your Guide To The Fabulous Life And Vocabulary Of Former Goldman Spokesman Lucas Van Praag

Lucas van Praag, former head of Goldman PR

One of Wall Street and corporate America’s most colourful spokespeople has now been ousted from Goldman Sachs.To help you better understand his background, we’ve prepped and quick and easy tour of his bio.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the amazing quotes Van Praag has offered over the years.

Over at New York Magazine, Jessica Pressler has a great roundup of Lucas in high dudgeon. It’s rare that you find a PR person who so clearly relished being able to combine condescending indignation, elaborate syntax and erudite vocabulary.

That those components were marshalled in defence of CDOs, CLOs, MBSs, prop trading and algorithmic trade execution platforms is makes it all the more compellingly ironic.

But if you find yourself drawn in, only to realise that Van Praag’s word choice has left you alt T’ing to¬†http://www.merriam-webster.com/, we’ve got you covered on that front too.

His father wore a monocle

Van Praag graduated from the University of Durham

Durham is Britain's third oldest university, after Oxford and Cambridge.

Effluent

Used here.

Definition: Something that flows out or forth, especially a stream flowing out of a body of water or outflow from a sewer or sewage system.

His pre-Goldman career was quite varied

'He was a Merchant Navy officer, spent 10 years at Bankers Trust, left to run a British manufacturing company and worked through the '90s at the Brunswick Group, where he was said to be a right-hand man to the public-relations guru Alan Parker, whose son's godfather is Prime Minister Brown.' - via the Observer

Chimera

Used in response to a piece by MarketWatch's David Weidner in 2008.

Definition: a fire-breathing she-monster from Greek mythology usually represented as a composite of a lion, goat, and serpent or an imaginary monster made up of grotesquely disparate parts.

He arrived at Goldman in 2001

And quickly had to deal with his fair share of scandal, from an insider trading affair to the industry wide research settlement relating to improper investment banking influence over research reports.

But Van Praag was known to eschew a monocle in favour of a pinky ring

Also via the Observer.

Febrile

Used in response to a piece by MarketWatch's David Weidner in 2008.

Definition: of, relating to, or characterised by fever; feverish.

'Third shooter'

Used here.

Technically not vocabulary but this reference needs to be explained to most readers under the age of 40. The phrase refers to conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK, namely that there were three shooters involved.

He was named a partner in 2006

And since then, he saw two more years of boom followed by an almost unrelenting cascade of bad news and worse press for Goldman Sachs.

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