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Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 4th May – 10th May 2009

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Here are the key stories of the week:

The Future of the City of London
Banks aren't just stressed, they're angry
The Susan Boyle Bank
Stock picking with real-time news
Girls, games and gambling

Mint and the Simpsons 
Top 10 CEO salaries of 2008
An invitation to meet Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman, Barclays and Professor Willem Buiter
Thank heavens, there's no commute today

Our major stories of the week include:

The Future of the City of London

During the boom years of the 2000s, London competed with Frankfurt and
New York to become the financial centre of the world. The question today is whether the City's strength can
continue or is it a busted flush as a result of the financial crisis?

Banks aren't just stressed, they're angry

Monday was the day that the US Government was meant to come out and say that their banks were really stressed, but they didn’t.  There’s lot of negotiation of the detail you see and Citigroup and Bank of America appear to be particularly stressed, but they are not the only ones.

The Susan Boyle Bank

The businesses we ran ten years ago should now cost 80% less to run.  80% of the costs have gone.  Those costs were all related to
mailing, telephone and printing ten years ago, sending out newsletters
and invitations, calling people to chase up and printing brochures.  Today, it’s all electronic via a broadband connection with most of the costs, apart from time, being free.

Banks need to think about this carefully as new financial providers
have proven that they can launch new razorthin margin business models
and reach critical mass in fast cycle turnaround.

Stock picking with real-time news

Many of Google's staff may be rich and wealthy but it's not down to
their share price, which rocketed since the 2004 IPO but, like everyone
else's, tanked recently.  Google's stock peaked at the end of 2007 at over $700 per share and is now down at just under $400.  Result: there must be other ways of making money.  And yes, Google have found a way.  Live search analysis in real-time.

Girls, games and gambling

David Birch and I cross paths regularly and he kindly spoke to the Financial Services Club recently about the future of money.  For those who don’t know him, David is a Grade-A Geek. Not my
description of him, but the description of the Independent newspaper
from an article in 2004.

David is at the forefront of payments innovations and
the point David came up with about the future of money is that it will
not change until you focus upon the right things.

And what are the right things?  Girls, games and gambling of course.

Mint and the Simpsons

I've recently started reading Mint's blog on a
regular basis. It's very good and this week had a belter: Personal
Finance According to the Simpsons. They've taken Homer Simpson's
philosophies on life, work and money, and explained how it relates to
managing your finances.

Top 10 CEO salaries of 2008

The Huffington Post published the list of the Top 10 CEO pay packages for 2008.  Four out of the Top 10 are bankers, including at least one failure.

An invitation to meet Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman, Barclays and Professor Willem Buiter

We have two major meetings of the Financial Services Club in London in May:

  • on 18th May
    Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman of Barclays Commercial Bank, will be
    discussing how the credit crisis has changed the customer relationship;
  • on 21st May Willem Buiter, Professor of European Political Economy for the European Institute of the London
    School of Economics and Political Science, and author of the maverecon
    blog on the Financial Times website, will be focusing upon the road to recovery: what next?

Rest of the week's reading:

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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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