Home / Blog Index / The Finanser’s Week: 4th August – 10th August 2014

The Finanser’s Week: 4th August – 10th August 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

Bitcoin is a Wild West … when the dust settles, will it still be around?

Bitcoin has gone from the leading light for the future to a flaky, shaky infrastructure.  This is the result of the Mt.Gox meltdown, along with other exchanges since.  In other words, the essence of bitcoin – the blockchain and the algorithms – are all perfectly fine and make eminent sense.  The issue is that the infrastructure being built for trading bitcoins is a compete Wild West, amply demonstrated by the implosion of Mt.Gox and the issues that followed.

Why Bitcoin needs a Foundation

Since the Mt.Gox implosion, confidence in bitcoin has somewhat dampened, as demonstrated by its flat-lining priceline. You would think that when Dell, Baltic Air, Wikipedia, the German newspaper Taz and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) all announce that they will be taking bitcoin payments – as they all did in July – the price would jump.  It didn’t.  You would think that in a month when New York announces draconian bitcoin regulations, whilst London does the opposite, that the price would jump.  It didn’t.

Hello, PayPal Here

I’m a fan of anything that makes life easier and, for me, PayPal is one of those things.  PayPal allows me to make cross-border payments easily.  Even better, it allows me to take cross-border payments easily.

Risk: the Nature of the Beast

When I first started working in banking, I didn't have much idea about risk. Then I was told about market and credit risk, the two major forms of trading risk in the mainstream markets.  Put simply: market risk is the risk of losses from trading whilst credit risk is the risk of the counterparty being unable to pay.


The major general news stories of the past week include …  

Why Bank of America's $17bn settlement is unfair – The Telegraph
The US government made banking giant pay for Merrill Lynch and Countrywide – now it is forcing it to pay again

A resounding 'no': the UK financial industry's verdict on Scottish independence – The Telegraph
Just one in ten finance professionals said that they supported the financial and economic arguments that have been put forward by the pro-independence Yes campaign

Standard Chartered may face new penalty over failure to flag risky transactions: source – Reuters
(Reuters) – Standard Chartered PLC is back in the crosshairs of New York's banking regulator over alleged failure to flag high risk transactions for further review, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Russia gang in 'largest data breach' – BBC
A Russian group hacks 1.2 billion usernames and passwords belonging to more than 500 million email addresses, in what is being described as the "largest data breach" ever.

Loan fury led customer to smash bank windows – The Shields Gazette
AN angry customer smashed windows at a South Tyneside bank after learning he still had thousands of pounds left to pay on a loan.

Europe's tough new regime for banks fails first test in Portugal – The Telegraph
Portugal’s rescue of Banco Santo Espirito has left taxpayers on the hook for large potential losses, sparing senior bondholders in the first serious test of the EU’s tougher rules for bank failures.

BofA falls foul of bank etiquette – Financial Times
Episode is a stark reminder of the potential conflicts of interest which are inherent to investment banks

HSBC says reform pressures unprecedented as first half profits drop – Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC said it was facing unprecedented demands on its staff and operations from regulatory reforms as it reported a 12 percent drop in profits in the first half of the year.

The next crisis? We're hardwiring short-termism into the financial system – The Telegraph
It is this, rather than stringing bankers up, that we should be focussing on

Man 'who had been refused overdraft extension' is Tasered by armed police after bursting into bank with a homemade FLAMETHROWER – Daily Mail
A man was Tasered and arrested by police today after he allegedly burst into a bank with a makeshift flamethrower and threatened to burn it to the ground because he was refused an overdraft.


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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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