It makes julienne fries!
Aaaaand, it also lets every "expert," "journalist," or even CEO avoid having to actually own up to the truth. Since late last summer, I think it might even be the single most popular descriptive
excuse word to scroll across the news wires. On what seems like a daily (if not more-frequent) basis we get things like:
A Molasses-slow automobile company, decades behind in technology, design, and execution hemorraging money because of stale product?
"The global auto industry is in a state of change, and we're all dealing with these headwinds together..."
Investment Bank suffering billions in writedowns due to management's shortsighted arrogance?
"We're facing some strong headwinds across much of our traditionally strong businesses, but we've survived for the past 400 years, and we'll survive now!"
Consumer discretionary or luxury goods business not holding up well now that you've done your part to permanently bury the American consumer in debt up to his/her eyeballs?
"Our brand is strong despite macro-economic headwinds faced industry-wide, but we suspect our loyal customers will continue to show their support regardless."
Hedge fund on the verge of blow up due to 37x leverage and a super-concentrated short volatility bet?
"The current global environment presents us with unprecedented profit-making opportunities, but yes, we have faced some trading headwinds over the past quarter"
And this is to say nothing of the countless hoard of reporters who simply use the term to explain an increasingly complex array of circumstances, lest they have to actually roll up their sleeves and understand or explain the underlying issues.
Yea, thats right. "Headwinds".
That must be it.
Like a mysterious atmospheric anomaly that just popped up out of nowhere without warning; every firm in every industry now finds itself facing challenges they, themselves had absolutely no hand in creating.
Honestly, what a freaking cop-out!
I get it. You're an "important person" and people "listen to what you say," and you "want to maintain a positive image." Whatever. Just don't give me this "headwinds" BS any more. When everyone was making money hand-over-fist, the success was due to management's vision and talent. Now that unprecedented growth has slowed - or, GASP! - turned into material losses, its simply explained away by "headwinds"?
Sorry chum, you can't have your cake and eat it too.