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Opinion

Curiousity killed the cat but made the human

I’ve noticed that my blogging has developed into regularly asking questions. Many of my blog entries end with a question mark. Why is that? It’s because I’m always asking questions. It’s because I cannot accept the way it is. It’s because I want to know more. It’s because I’m curious. Funnily enough I presented at…

Can Europe ever get its payment act together?

It seems to be a week of guest columns, but that’s what happens when you find interesting things online and in your network. Today’s guest is Piotr Jan Pietrzak, Director of International Development at BLIK, the innovative Polish payment system. For followers of my blog, you may remember that I wrote about PEPSI two years…

And being rich doesn’t necessarily make you happy

Following on from last week’s discussion of smarter people not necessarily being wealthier, the mind is a funny thing. What makes you tick? What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? When you reflect, you introspect. It can be dangerous. Who are you? Why are you here? What is your purpose? What do you stand…

Is it true that smart people are richer?

A natural thought is that if you’re smart, you’re more likely to be rich, but that’s not true. There are many smart people who are poor and many stupid people who are rich. Why so? Because wealth has nothing to do with intelligence. A study published in November 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy…

Should we be calmer about #Klarna?

Back in 2015, I interviewed Nikolas Adalberth, a co-founder of Swedish FinTech unicorn Klarna. Little did I know back then that they would be of the biggest stars of FinTech and the creators of BNPL, the Buy Now Pay Later, revolution Is it a revolution? Not really. It’s just another form of credit, but people like…

How Facebook failed at finance

I haven’t written much about Facebook’s digital currency Diem, as there’s not much to write about. A dead duck from day one, it would never succeed. I said so back when it launched in 2019: The bottom-line is that Facebook may have developed a stablecoin using blockchain to enable global payments within Messenger, Instagram and…

When a rebel meets a banker

Recently, Dr. Gail Bradbrook of Extinction Rebellion allowed The Finanser to publish a guest piece, which was generally well received. However, one letter stood out as a rebuttal. Gail determined to reply to this view, and so the dialogue carries on below… When economics and investments are led by our better selves Dear Anonymous Banker, I…

Refugees and positive action for Ukraine

I don’t like posting twice a day but, at a time of ‘peace-keeping’, it seems worthwhile because it’s interesting. It’s interesting that when there’s a war somewhere else, it doesn’t matter. I always remember hosting  Jaz and Nils O’Hara of the Worldwide Tribe at the Financial Services Club in 2016 talking about the Calais Jungle. Do you…

A SWIFT slap on the wrist

During the weekend, there was some real action against Russia and specifically Vladimir Putin. The aim is to freeze Russia’s assets, worth around $630 billion, around the world. ‘A global financial pariah’: how central bank sanctions could hobble Russia The ban on Moscow’s use of its roughly $630bn of foreign reserves will harm [the country’s]…

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Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser