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Three Principles for a New Wall Street

The second presentation that attracted my attention at TEDx Wall Street last week was Don Tapscott’s.


Don is the author of many books, although his best known work is probably coining the phrase Wikinomics (note, this is now Marcowikinomics).

His thesis is all about how the internet is changing our world fundamentally, and that crowdsourcing is the new mantra.

The collective of the crowd can be applied anywhere, and can change all industries completely, especially the financial world.

I’d heard Don in September 2008 at SIBOS, as the credit crisis hit us hardest.

SIBOS was in Vienna from Monday September 15th.  I remember it well because, on September 14th 2008, Lehman Brothers were bankrupt.

September 15th was when Washington Mutual and Merrill Lynch became subsumed in the crisis, closely followed by HBOS and RBS.

It was a horrible week.

SIBOS began with around 7,500 attendees and by the end of the week we were all playing: Spot the Banker.

Don was the final afternoon’s keynote speaker, and he reflected on what had happened that week with a call for all banks to share knowledge in a wikipool of risk management.

The idea being that if banks pooled their knowledge of risk into a collective source, it would be far more bullet-proof than each bank creating its own risk management strategy.


But open sourcing risk management across the industry is a great concept … just not a practical reality.


Six months after Don’s call to action, I blogged that not much had happened and said the same three years later as SIBOS 2011 began.

I’d still the same today so, although I applaud Don’s sentiment, I have a slightly reserved view of how easily his message will be received by the financial community.

For example, his message at TEDx Wall Street was a simple one: banks need to embrace the basic principles of integrity, collaboration and transparency.


Laudable but unlikely.

I’ve said that banks are naked for some time.  Banks cannot hide anything in this new world of open information sharing … but nothing has changed yet.

Goldman Sachs can get away with calling their clients “muppets” (NSFW) …

… and are still the world’s #1 investment bank.

Transparency, openness, collaboration, sharing, open sourcing, honesty, credibility, integrity … all of these principles and ideas are laudable … but not principles or ideas that I see being bandied around the Wall Street community.

It may change, because the world of anger that sits around Wall Street will force it to change.

That’s Don’s view.

I wonder if he’ll be right?

Anyways, if you have 14 minutes, you can watch the whole presentation:

Here’s the twitter stream from his presentation for those interested:

J. Russell Fugett ‏ @JRussellFugett: Streaming @TedxWallStreet live now. 1st speaker, Don Tapscott author of one of my favorite boosk, “Wikinomics” #TEDxWS

NYSE Money Sense@nysemoneysense: Wall Street: We have a problem. How do we save capitalism? -Don Tapcott #TEDxWS

Chris Skinner ‏ @Chris_Skinner: “It’s not a crisis of capitalism, capitalism is the crisis” – comment made by #OccupyWallStreet to @dtapscott #TEDxWS

@nysemoneysense: To restore long-term health and trust in financial services will require… a change to the whole operating model of WS. -DTapscott #TedXWS

@nysemoneysense: “Business can’t succeed in a world that is failing.” –DTapscott #TEDxWS

@nysemoneysense: Most people on Wall Street are good people! –DTapscott #TEDxWS

Nikhil Goyal ‏ @TalkPolitical: Three principles for a new Wall Street: 1. Integrity 2. Collaboration 3. Accountability #tedxws #tedxwallstreet

Erica Orange ‏ @ErOrange: Listening to @dtapscott talk about the “Three Principles of #WallStreet: integrity, transparency & collaboration” #TEDxWS @NYSE_Euronext

Ali O’Rourke ‏ @NYSEAli: #TEDxWS @dtapscott Wall street should be completely rebuilt based on three principals: integrity, collaboration and transparency. Possible?

@Chris_Skinner: Integrity needs to be baked into the DNA of all Wall Street companies #TEDxWS

@Chris_Skinner: My son is an investment banker and integrity – honesty, consideration, accountability – are key to his life @dtapscott #TEDxWS

@Chris_Skinner: It’s hard to stop people being bad when the reward for being bad is big bonuses – Don Tapscott at #TEDxWS

@Chris_Skinner: Banks have $2 trillion of toxic assets on their books, plus or minus $2 trillion – Don Tapscott #TEDxWS

@nysemoneysense: The key to fixing problems of #employment comes back to taking these [toxic] assets off our balance sheets” -DTapscott #Jobs #TedXWS

@TalkPolitical: Don Tapscott: 80% of jobs are coming from companies that are five years old or less. #tedxwallstreet #tedxws

‏@Chris_Skinner: A jobless recovery is an oxymoron as there is no recovery unless it’s inclusive – Don Tapscott #TEDxWS

Stephane Guittet ‏ @sguittet: Wikileaks is the tip of the iceberg, corporations are going to be naked – Don Tapscott at #TEDxWS

@nysemoneysense: Transparency has become a powerful new force… Corps are becoming naked. Fitness is no longer optional! -DTapscott #TedXWS

AnalytixInsight ‏ @AnalytixInsight: #TEDxWS Transparency is a powerful new force – Corporations are going to be Naked. Don Tapscott.

‏@Chris_Skinner: Corporations are now naked and if you’re naked you better be buff – Don Tapscott and transparency thanks to the net #TEDxWS

Corey Trippiedi ‏ @CoreyTrippiedi: Every company needs a transparency strategy @dtapscott @macrowikinomics @NYSE_Euronext #TEDxWS

@TalkPolitical: Tapscott: Undress for success. #tedxws #tedxwallstreet

@nysemoneysense: Stakeholders bringing sunlight to WallStreet: Shareholders, Society, Employees, Customers, Media. -DTapscott #TedXWS

Tanya ‏ @TMODOM: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and transparency is a powerful force”– Don Tapscott #tedxws

StockBrokers ‏ @StockBrokers: Great presentation by @dtapscott! #TEDxWS

‏@NYSEAli: Great call to action by @dontapscot at #TEDxWS

Nick Dimitrakiou ‏ @nickdimitrakiou: @dtapscott #tedxws well said



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, 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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