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Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 25th May – 31st May 2009

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Here are our key stories of the week:

A real-time global pulse 

As we use low latency systems, faster payments, twitter and other
technologies, we silently watch the revolution of our world from local
to global communities, and to a real-time global pulse.  The thing is, do you ever stop to notice?  The fact that you can trade in a millionth of a millionth of a second,
transfer monies at light speed, and share news from Beijing to
Birmingham as it happens, is the world we live in today.  And we must take notice as real-time everything, including real-time payments with real-time security, is right here, right now.

There are wide differences of opinion between different banks of the role of a branch these days.  Is a branch a branch, a store, a transactional centre, a sales centre,
a retail lobby, an automated machine or all of these things or none of
them?  On the one hand, HSBC are saying that branches are uneconomic; on the
other hand, Santander has decided to rebrand all their UK branches and
want more.  Meanwhile, there are new banks opening branches, such as
Tesco and Metro Bank, and old banks closing branches by the dozen.  Who is right and who is wrong?

And what not to wear for a bank robbery

Some of the worst outfits worn by bank robbers.

Are we hard wired to mess up our money?

A variety of experts are analysing our brains to see how they work with making decisions about money and risk.  Their conclusions are that we simplify to the point of a simple will I win or lose view.  The result is one explanation of what causes stock market booms and busts.

Two internet software security firms, McAfee and Sophos, produced some
interesting reports on fraud, malware and cybercrime this week.  According to McAfee, Americans have lost about $8.5 billion because of
internet scams in the last two years alone. As a result, they've
launched an interesting series of videos to educate your Average Joe's
and Jane's in what to do and what not to do for safe surfs.  Meanwhile, Sophos claim that "one newly infected webpage is discovered
every 4.5 seconds", and much of this is being proliferated by social
networks such as Facebook.

Trading water

Last year, I wrote an extensive piece
about a vision of trading in the future based upon 24*7 real-time
global markets and the impact of news algorithmics.  A key piece of
that article was the idea of water being a rare commodity and hence of
very high value. Traders globally focused upon Oceans, Rivers and Lakes, and the world fought wars over water.  This fiction is now coming true.

Ten Questions and Ten Statements

McKinsey posted a great little conversation starter this week entitled:"What next? Ten questions for CFOs", and subtitled: "As
companies shift their attention from fighting the crisis to getting the
most from the recovery, CFOs must keep them focused."  It's nice to see that McKinsey are calling this a recovery now, and so here's the 10 questions to get the conversation started ...

Dow Jones ... don't mess with this mother

If you thought the stock markets were scary, then take a look at this ...

FSClub 8th June: Mobiles and M&A

We have two club meetings taking place on the same date on 8th June. In Ireland, the meeting will focus upon Mobile Finance whilst our meeting in Vienna studies the liklihood of M&A in CEE.

This house believes new liquid architectures will dominate

9th June, we are holding a Capital Markets Chamber meeting of the
Financial Services Club that will debate the motion: "This house
believes new liquid architectures will dominate bank's strategic plans
from next year onwards".  This debate focuses upon how banks benefit from doing liquidity risk management right, particularly in a post-Lehman world.

And the biggest news stories of the week include:

FSA reveals its 'severe' bank stress tests but hides results (Independent)
Nationwide hits out at savings protection scheme (Independent)
Santander’s renaming of UK banks will not cost it much 
Europe tightens regulatory noose on City 
German debts set to blow 'like a grenade'
Hank Paulson Admits He Never Really Understood How Mortgage-Backed Securities Worked
Post-trade suffers heat of regulation (Financial Times)
Financial Sector Cybersecurity Issues (Information Security Resources)

For stories by date, click on the dates below:

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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