At Arm’s Length

comprador: A native contract supplier for one or more interstellar corporations abroad. Usually subordinate to the responsible factor.

In Imperial trade parlance in particular, the term comprador refers to both the title of the native contracts corporation and the executive operating it. Such a native contracts corporation functions as an interfacer writ large, acting to bridge the divide between the freewheeling contractual culture of the Empire and the Accord on Trade simply interpreted, and the various aids and incidents demanded by local regulators. Such is often particularly necessary in the sphere of employment relations, the Empire never having institutionalized the concept, placing the comprador in a position akin to that of a financial institution performing maturity transformation: transforming short-term money-for-task contracts from the interstellars into long-term employment on local terms.

This naturally transfers risk from the interstellars (the “Clean Hands”, in a cynical borrowing from the ISS jargon term) to the comprador, and it is by its skill in negotiating and, where necessary, manipulating both local regulations and transeconomic arbitrage that the success of a comprador may be judged. Such transformation is generally to the economic disadvantage of local hires, who receive less total remuneration for their performance and upon less favorable terms than direct contract would have permitted – a fact which is considered one of the many sad ironies associated with operating in emerging markets.

‚Äď A Core Economic Dictionary, Aurum Press (6900)