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Shaping the future of finance

The Finanser’s Week: 1st February – 7th February 2010

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The biggest news stories of the week include ...

Reforming banks: a roundup of current proposals on how to make them smaller  - The Telegraph
How to Reform Our Financial System, by Paul Volcker - New York Times
'Pass my plans or I'll come back to haunt you,' says Volcker - The Independent
Stock markets plunge over Europe debt fears - The Times
The market has failed over bankers’ pay - The Times
Banks told to comply on bonuses or lose UK banking licences in shock FSA ultimatum - The Telegraph
Ken Lewis charged with fraud over Merrill deal - The Independent
Paulson repeats claim that Britain 'screwed' US over Lehman rescue - The Times
Mac Banker busted ogling at naked woman during live TV - the Age

And our biggest stories of the week are ...

Eye, eye - the future of customer identity?

After the news of a banker’s offspring trying to blow up a
flight on Christmas Eve by hiding explosive materials in his
underpants, we wonder how such individuals get away with such acts.
Can’t we monitor them better? Is there no way to identify the honest
person from the dishonest from the outright terrorist?  This is a core issue in all aspects of modern life, and
particularly in banking where it is wrapped up in our AML and KYC
rules. On the one hand, we want to give customers good service which
should be helped by knowing the client; on the other, we want to avoid
dishonest or politically-exposed customers, which is why we have such
rigorous account opening and transaction reporting standards.
But are they that rigorous?

The Amazing World of Social Connectivity

It's been a while
since we posted numbers on social media, but it's time for an update
and there's a great supplement in this week’s Economist discussing all
things social networking. It's well worth reading the whole 20-page
report but, if you don’t have time, here are all the key statistics
(always useful) such as: Facebook took almost five years to get its
first 150m users, but just eight months to double that number.

The Financial Services Club is pleased to announce that we have
recently agreed a partnership with Thomson Reuters Equity Market Share
Reporter (EMSR) to provide a monthly MiFID MTF Monitor. Our aim is to
show how the pan-European investment markets are changing as a result of
the MiFID and the entry of the new MTFs.  Find out how Chi-X and friends rate against the Deutsche Bourse,
Euronext and the LSE.

MiFID Wave 2

been meaning to write a few insights into the MiFID review, and will do
so in the future.  Meantime, a colleague from Credit Agricole's
subsidiary, CA Cheuvreux, sent me a really interesting white paper on
the MiFID review and has kindly given me premission to post it here for
Finanser readers. 

Attended a great meeting this week, where 400 people gathered to hear
the wise words of my friends Professor Michael Mainelli of Z/Yen Group
and Bernard Lietaer, along with luminaries Brian Eno (yes, he from daze
of old Roxy Music), Alexander Rose, Stewart Brand, Professor Sir
Roderick Floud and fund manager Edward Bonham Carter.  The opening panel focused upon: "The
Long Now - Long-Term Thinking and Responsibility In The Framework Of The
Next 10,000 Years".  Who the hell cares about 10,000 years?

Following on from yesterday’s blog about 10,000 year thinking,
how does this relate to or work in finance? The idea is to fund
long-term projects. The sort of massive projects that no-one knows how
to fund. The sort of project that governments shy away from as
politicians only have four-year lives and thinking past the next term in
office is hard for them. The sort of thing like building a Pyramid or a
Cathedral, something that is long lasting and changes humanity forever.
Who today would think about building such a thing?

In the final of three posts on 10,000 year
thinking, we look at how alternative currencies could be created that
actively encourage 10,000 year investing rather than discourage
it.  Based upon the complex concept of demurrage - where you gain
value based upon the holding of a basket of commodities - the Long Now
of Finance becomes a reality.

Banking meets the BBC, an evening with Hugh Pym

two years of non-stop bank bashing in the media, how do the journalists
and press really see the banking system today? How do they report this
news and is it really objective and neutral, or inflammatory and
overdone?  Find out with an evening with Hugh Pym, Chief Economics Correspondent with the BBC.

2013 Vision of Banking

Commonwealth Bank of Australia put a video of their vision of 2013 banking service onto YouTube the other day.  Watch it here.


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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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