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Future

Greed is good … and my bonus is better

I was a bit agog and aghast at the recent announcement from 192 US CEOs, who said that stakeholders are now more important than shareholders. This focus upon stakeholders has been an emerging trend for over the past quarter century and here’s what these great US leaders said: Statement on …

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Greed is good … or is it?

There’s a comment that has stayed with me for a long time. It goes along the lines of if you’re earning $10 million a year then spending $10,000 is only the same as someone who earns $100,000 a year spending $100. It’s just relative. This often strikes me as I …

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Money without government? Emperors without Clothes?

I finally hit the nail on the head about why you can’t have money without government. It’s because you can create as open a system, complex a platform, distributed an idea, decentralised a currency as you want but, unlike most industries, without some form of supervisory oversight the whole system …

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The diversity of financial markets

Talking of diversity of views and strange conversations, I was in discussion with an American bank the other day and they asked me if Europe would survive this crisis. I thought they meant Brexit, and started waffling on about whiff-whaff and Boris Johnston but no, they stopped me mid-sentence and …

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Are humans really needed for banking?

I enjoy being around bankers who have been immersed in the industry nearly all of their lives and hearing their war stories. I heard two stories recently from a retiring banker, and thought it worth sharing to show just how far we’ve come. This friend started life in international banking …

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The key to IoT is identity

The term The Internet of Things (IoT) was first used twenty years ago. Twenty years later, IoT is emerging rapidly. We have our cars and homes networked but, more than this, we have gadgets like Google Home, Siri and Alexa. Amazon has taken this even further with services like Key …

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The future of The City of London

As I walk around The City, I’m often finding new buildings, new developments and major erections rising around the Square Mile. On that latter note, I don’t mean Boris Johnston, but major new office blocks. Obviously, with Brexit, a lot of people would think that this would not be the …

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Is transparency a good thing?

Who wants transparency when you can have magic? Do you watch The Crown? If not, maybe you should as Series 3 is about to begin with Olivia Coleman, a great actress. The first two series weren’t bad either, with Netflix spending $130 million on the season (around $10 million per …

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My worst prediction ever

I was asked the other day about my worst prediction ever made. My answer may surprise some, but it was the view that intermediaries would disappear as technology takes over. I made that prediction about independent financial advisors back in the 1990s as call centres appeared. It didn’t come true. …

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There are always questions about the future

There are always questions about the future. It’s the only thing we don’t know. We don’t know what will happen in the future, so we ask lots of questions. What will happen when Amazon opens a bank? Will regulators create new rules about data sharing? How will quantum computing change …

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Who governs the internet?

I have this debate often: Why governments will fail to block the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Can you have decentralised exchange without centralised control? Is the world being democratised through technology? How do governments regulate a networked world? A world without money A world without government? … and …

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Banks need a purpose other than making money

I wrote a couple of recent blogs about the issue with finding good developers and attracting them to banks. The first, about the war for talent, made the statement: the main motivation of developers joining a firm is to solve interesting problems. The second, titled When code is art, how do …

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Is there any way to change the status quo?

No, I’m not talking about Francis Rossi but the issue of how to achieve sustainability. This came up during a lunch, where my lunch colleague had picked up on my discussions of sustainable finance, and started to debate how we could change things. The issue we agreed is with governments, …

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