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:
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: