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The Banker's Blog Watch

Track industry talk and discussion via headline feeds from industry blogs selected by American Banker editors.
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Today's Featured Post:

Felix Salmon

Why clearXchange Is Great for Payments
ClearXchange is a clear competitor to the likes of PayPal and Popmoney, but it’s not an existential threat to those companies. Instead, the reason I like it is just that it brings peer-to-peer payments where they belong, to the level of the bank account. And it’s likely to set a new benchmark of $0.00 for the cost that consumers pay for such payments.

Thoughts on the Future of Finance

  • A Simple Explanation of Balance Sheets (Don't run away... it's interesting, really!)
    posted on July 5, 2015
    Shared ledgers could be revolutionary but do we need to share a mental model for banking to make sense of it all? What would be your first instinct if your friend were to tell you they had £1m in the bank? To congratulate them on their good fortune? To suppress a pang of jealousy? Wrong, […]
  • Quick notes on Sidechains "Elements"
    posted on June 10, 2015
    I’ve written a lot recently about the potential of replicated, shared ledgers that are private/semi-private. For example, I suggested that industries with duplicated systems across firms might get benefit from adopting this technology.  But I also keep an eye on what’s happening in the Bitcoin world.  So the Blockstream "Elements" launch caught my attention this […]

HR Sagacity

Capital and Prudential Standards Blog

The Financial Brand

The National Bank Examiner

  • posted on July 2, 2015

  • posted on June 4, 2015

Nick Dunbar

  • How Newham came unstuck with inverse floaters
    posted on July 1, 2015

    In my research for Channel 4 Dispatches, I learned that Newham council had at least £150 million of inverse floater LOBOs with Royal Bank of Scotland, along with other councils such as Cornwall, Edinburgh and Newcastle. As discussed on the programme, these loans involve councils paying a variable coupon which goes up when market rates … Continued

  • Do we really need fund managers to save the CDS market?
    posted on May 14, 2015

    Blackrock, the world's biggest asset manager, is on a "mission" to save the credit default swap market, according to Bloomberg News. In particular, CDS on single names - as opposed to index trades - have declined in volume, as big dealers like Deutsche Bank have decided to exit the market. Now you might think that … Continued


  • Banks and Greece's bailouts
    posted on July 5, 2015
    Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis. I didn’t expect this claim, from the previous post, to be very contentious. But apparently it is, so I’ll overdocument below. Certainly a bank bailout was not the program’s sole purpose — fear of contagion to other […]
  • Greece
    posted on July 3, 2015
    Greece is a remarkable country full of wonderful people, but along dimensions of development and governance, the place is plainly pretty fucked up. It has been fucked up that way for a long time, for decades at least. This has never been secret. Anyone who has visited Athens knows it has far more in common […]

Tomorrow's Transactions

The D&O Diary

  • Controversy Surrounds SEC's New Proposed Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Clawback Rules
    posted on July 5, 2015
    On July 1, 2015, a divided SEC voted 3-2 to propose rules directing the securities exchanges to adopt standards requiring listed companies to adopt policies requiring the companies' executive officers to pay back incentive-based compensation in the event the company restates its financials for the year in which the compensation was awarded. The proposed rules, … Continue Reading
  • Of Time and Summer (A Reprise)
    posted on July 2, 2015
    In recognition of the Independence Day holiday in the U.S., and in what is now something of an annual tradition, I am reprising here my 2012 essay about Time and Summer, which can be found here. Have a great Fourth of July holiday. Thank you to all of my loyal readers.… Continue Reading

Bank Talk

Deus Ex Macchiato

  • Three quotes and an apology
    posted on May 2, 2014
    The resumption didn’t happen: sorry. I just didn’t feel like writing. Even the Michael Lewis/HFT thing couldn’t rouse me from my stupor, mostly because it is so obvious what you need to do to fix these issues*. There is a three day weekend ahead. I don’t anticipate writing much any time soon, but let me […]
  • Sorry folks
    posted on March 26, 2014
    I’m horrendously busy, and unlikely to be blogging for some weeks. Normal service might be resumed by mid-April, but more likely there will be fewer but hopefully longer posts. Happy Easter

ISDA Media Comment

  • Summer Relief
    posted on July 2, 2015
    It's been some four months since our last posting, and we have been hoping for an equally quiet summer. But then we came across a recent article in the American Banker about a new research report by the US Treasury's … Continue reading
  • The Credit Derivatives Mailbag
    posted on February 3, 2015
    Some recent press articles have raised questions about the process for determining whether a credit event has occurred and therefore whether credit derivatives should trigger. Many of the articles have focused on the ISDA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committees (DCs). So, … Continue reading

Portals and Rails

  • The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
    posted on June 29, 2015
    As I write this blog on the screened porch of a North Alabama lake house, the cicadas are constantly buzzing in the background. I am fascinated by the life cycle of this species--namely, the emergence of the periodical cicadas from...
  • The Current Tokenization Landscape in the United States
    posted on June 22, 2015
    Last fall, Take on Payments featured a three-post series on tokenization. The first post introduced the technology regarding payment credentials and noted that merchant-centric tokenization solutions came to the market in the mid-2000s, driven by the Payment Card Industry Data...

Bank Lawyer's Blog

  • Sabbatical
    posted on May 31, 2015
    Other than holidays and brief vacations, I have not taken a break from this blog in over a decade. It's time. This blog is going on summer vacation. Have a great summer.
  • The Underbelly Of The Mt. Holly Settlement
    posted on May 28, 2015
    The settlement of the Mt. Holly disparate impact case before it could be decided by the US Supreme Court were suspicious. At the time, it was thought by many that the US Justice Department had helped to engineer that settlement...

The Bankwatch

  • Music and how we listen to it
    posted on July 5, 2015
    The whole music streaming thing is becoming one of the the next big things. There are lots of apps out there and when Apple announced Apple Music it seemed clear they could leap above the fray. This piece at recode exemplifies what has bothered me. Simplicity. In Battle of Streaming Music Services, Simplicity Is the […]
  • Social media meets lobbying meets activist meets Industry Powerhouse Taylor
    posted on June 22, 2015
    Social media meets lobbying meets activist meets Industry Powerhouse. Taylor Swift conducted what was obviously a well thought through campaign on her blog, presumably because 140 characters sometimes is just not enough. (Go blogging, but I digress). To Apple, Love Taylor. To bring everyone up to speed, the Apple Music streaming service was proposed to […]

Celent Banking Blog

  • Biometrics: the next generation of corporate digital banking authentication
    posted on June 30, 2015
    Corporate treasury departments initiate and approve millions of dollars in high-value payments on a daily basis. As an example, in May 2015 the average amount of a US Fedwire transfer was $5.7 million. Because of the dollar value of these transactions, banks were early adopters of enhanced authentication for corporate online banking applications. Many banks […]
  • He who hesitates...?
    posted on June 29, 2015
    Mining data to create better products and cross-sell opportunities is a perennial topic of conversation with banks. We're often asked who does it well - in fact, I was asked this just last week. And the answer is...not many, frankly. More the exception than the norm. Some other industries who have recognised this however have […]


  • Thoughts on the Greek Referendum and the Democracy Mismatch in Public Debt Crises
    posted on July 5, 2015
    Today's Greek referendum might look like a high point for democratic accountability, but it is not. When Greek citizens vote on the demands of their government's international creditors, the outcome will bind Greek politicians, but not the creditors that have...
  • Catching Up
    posted on July 4, 2015
    So I've been off the grid for a few weeks, and of course after months of little to talk about, the world gave us a bounty of stories about financial distress, and related topics, each of which would merit its...

CU Soapbox

  • The Hot Swappable Life
    posted on August 13, 2014
    by Ron Daly A business associate was telling me a crazy story just the other day. He was holding out his credit card to pay for lunch and I noticed it was a shiny, newly-issued card. "Just get that card?"...
  • I don't know where you are...but I know where you AREN'T.
    posted on July 16, 2014
    by Ron Daly I don't have spy satellites. I don't have access to your GPS. I'm not the NSA, nor am I Google, nor am I any other intelligence gathering agency, public or private. I don't know where you are...but...


Inside the Underbanked

  • Carving up the Gecko
    posted on June 1, 2015
    At Core we’ve been getting more and more excited about insurance – not too worry, we’re not becoming actuaries anytime soon – and the potential for start-ups to disrupt that incredibly boring, but entirely gigantic whole industry. I owe a special gratitude to Thomas Smyth - who dropped into Core on a lark…
  • Show me the Money
    posted on April 23, 2015
    Everyone in the financial services industry is very excited about the digitization of money.  How exciting it would be to forego cash (and those annoying checks), in favor of a more efficient world of commerce and assets.  At the hand of Bitcoin, the argument goes, or Apple Pay, or what-not…

Javelin Strategy & Research

  • Dear Fintech, Give People Meaningful Experiences, Not Gold Stars
    posted on June 3, 2015
    At Finovate Spring, Moven demoed Bank 4.0. Moven is a reloadable debit card and mobile app. Just like Fitbit tracks your physical activity, Moven tracks your spending by category and will compare your current spending with your past spending behavior. It's as if a prepaid card had a love child with Mint that grew up...
  • A Hole in the Balloon Analogy: The Complex Evolution of Card Fraud in the US
    posted on June 2, 2015
    As we discussed in MasterCard's Security Matters, conventional wisdom indicates that card not present fraud will skyrocket as the United States shifts to EMV over the course of the next few years. Typically, this analysis is accompanied by analogies to balloons - as one end of the fraud "balloon" is squeezed, the rest expands. While...

Liberty Street Economics


Zoot Blog

  • The Return of the Financial Advisor: Giving More than PFM
    posted on July 1, 2015

    Personal Financial Management (PFM) Systems have been fairly widely deployed, but only a few banks have surpassed 10% adoption. Some institutions have the most desired features incorporated into their online banking platforms, like aggregating information from other banks and providing a high-level dashboard. Perhaps what we … Continue reading →

  • Does your bank own its customers?
    posted on June 24, 2015

    The Internet has changed the way we shop, pay our bills, communicate, and so much more. Its impact on the supply chain is undeniable. The mobile movement is changing the game again. There is a battle to own the customer interface and financial institutions understand what … Continue reading →