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

  • What happens if Bitcoin mining companies vertically integrate?
    posted on August 19, 2014
    Creeping centralization can come in many forms - are the Web Application Server wars a lesson from the past?! First some history of the IT industry (you can skip this bit if you just want the meat…) Travel back in time with me to the late nineties.... I started my career during the Web Application […]
  • A simple explanation of fees in the payment card industry
    posted on August 9, 2014
    I wrote a piece last month explaining how the payment card industry works.  I talked about the various actors (acquirers, issuers, schemes, merchants, etc) and pointed out how weird it is that everybody knows the Mastercard and Visa brand names yet nobody actually has a relationship with them. One of the questions I didn’t address […]

HR Sagacity

Capital and Prudential Standards Blog

The Financial Brand

The National Bank Examiner

  • posted on August 7, 2014

  • posted on July 21, 2014

Nick Dunbar

  • Fear and liquidity in the high-yield market
    posted on August 19, 2014
    Junk bond funds are seeing record outflows. This has been described as a 'six-sigma event', in other words, six standard deviations away from the mean weekly flow, something that if normally distributed should only be expected once in millions of years. By definition that's unusual, but in the context of broader investment in riskier corporate […]
  • Volcker Sunlight Should be the Best Disinfectant
    posted on July 25, 2014
    On the fourth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, the big US banks are still black boxes in terms of their trading activity. However regulators are now getting a bit more information. Over the last month, the big banks have started providing them with so-called reporting metrics under the Volcker Rule, so that the rule's curbs […]


  • Welfare economics: housekeeping and links
    posted on July 11, 2014
    A correspondent asks that I give the welfare series a table of contents. So here’s that… Welfare economics: Introduction The perils of Potential Pareto Inequality, production, and technology Welfare theorems, distribution priority, and market clearing Normative is performative, not positive I think I should also note the “prequel” of the series, the post whose comments […]
  • Welfare economics: normative is performative, not positive (part 5 and conclusion of a series)
    posted on July 7, 2014
    This is the fifth (and final) part of a series. See parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. For those who have read along thus, far, I am grateful. We’ve traveled a long road, but in the end we haven’t traveled very far. We have understood, first, the conceit of traditional welfare economics: that with just […]

Tomorrow's Transactions

The D&O Diary

  • The Travel Issue: Singapore (Second Edition)
    posted on August 25, 2014
    The D&O Diary is on assignment in Asia this week, with the first stop in Singapore. I was very happy to be in Singapore this past week and not just because the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Regional Professional Liability Symposium I attended there was so very successful, as described below. I was glad to … Continue Reading
  • Guest Post: The Director Risks Posed by a UK Subsidiary
    posted on August 22, 2014
    Because I am based in the United States and because my experience has been concentrated in the U.S., my focus in this blog has primarily been on issues and developments in the U.S. — although I do enjoy the occasional opportunity to write about developments elsewhere. Because I know that many of this blog's 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

  • Fireworks!
    posted on July 3, 2014
    Around the world, fireworks traditionally mark special holidays and events, and people in the US will see their fair share this weekend as the nation celebrates the 4th of July. The New York Times must also be in a celebratory … Continue reading
  • Protection Racket
    posted on May 19, 2014
    How many times have you read a story in a newspaper or magazine and thought, "The headline is pretty negative, but the story is OK"? We thought (and hoped) that might be the case when we came across this New … Continue reading

Portals and Rails

  • Forty Years and Still Scamming
    posted on August 25, 2014
    I suspect that a lot of us have received a letter or an e-mail supposedly from another country's government official or banker informing us that there were some unexpected riches coming our way. We could become millionaires, these strangers tell...
  • Crooks Target Business Clients
    posted on August 18, 2014
    Fraudsters are always looking for ways to take advantage of trusted relationships, such as between a business and their established vendors. The fraudster's goal is to trick the business into thinking they are paying their vendor when the dollars are...

Bank Lawyer's Blog

  • A Good Man(trap) Ain't Hard To Find
    posted on August 24, 2014
    Back in 2006, we discussed the problems that one bank had when it installed what was then a relatively new technology called a "mantrap" in a branch located in a predominantly black neighborhood. Activists found the entire idea of bank...
  • De Novo Territory Still A Wasteland
    posted on August 19, 2014
    *The collateral damage caused by a non-existent condition that actually exists--the oft-denied FDIC mortorium on de novo bank approvals--includes bank M&A activity. According to the American Banker's Robert Barba and industry participants that he interviewed, a vital portion of the...

The Bankwatch

  • Wells chief comments on mortgages sounds like a preview of another 2007
    posted on August 27, 2014
    Wells Fargo hold a gun to the Governments head on poor quality mortgages. Somehow this article out of the blue took me straight back to 2007. There still remains a fundamental gap in what Banks believe their role is, compared to what is expected from Government. The concept of government guaranteed mortgages helps many new […]
  • Stunning statistics on the value of the South China Sea
    posted on August 2, 2014
    Zerohedge points out the value of the South China Sea, particularly the value in natural gas. Filed under: Uncategorized

Celent Banking Blog

  • Wearables - banking hype or opportunity?
    posted on August 28, 2014
    Lately there has been much fanfare around wearables. From Google Glass to smartwatches, there has been no shortage of press releases, articles and hype surrounding these devices. I must say that I personally find all of this stuff amazingly cool, and love trying out new things. I am also super excited about the Moto 360 smartwatch […]
  • Actual vs. Perceived Value (Behavioral Economics)
    posted on August 21, 2014
    Our humanity, as individuals and as consumers, continues to fascinate me, particularly as it relates to our irrationality. My dad would drive miles out of his way to save 2 cents per gallon of gas, just for the principle of it (whatever that principle was!). Behavioral economists, of course, have been onto this for years. […]


  • Single-Point-of-Entry: No Bank Left Behind
    posted on August 31, 2014
    Last December the FDIC put out for comment a proposal for a Single-Point-of-Entry (SPOE) Strategy to implement its Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) under Title II of Dodd-Frank. Single-Point-of-Entry has gotten a lot of policy traction. The Treasury Secretary supports it...
  • With a whole lot more
    posted on August 28, 2014
    Thoughts on cramdown and "make whole" call provisions, over at Dealb%k.

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

  • Respek for Babak Armajani
    posted on June 3, 2014
    There are, no doubt, many influences that play out on anyone's career.  No different for me.  One of my most important ones was Babak Armajani.  He died a year ago, today. Babak had nothing to do with financial services for the emerging middle class, economic development, or financial inclusion.  To make things worse, perhaps, he was […]
  • Next PayDay: Govern Google
    posted on May 14, 2014
    I began to explore new solutions for payday lending in this op-ed in the American Banker. The response (at least based on my Twitter feed) has been outspoken, with many perspectives for and against. I thought I'd use the opportunity to go into further depth on my blog. Google Self-Governance on Ad Words for Payday Lenders In […]

Javelin Strategy & Research

  • Square Peg, Square Hole
    posted on July 31, 2014
    It was inevitable really that @Square would have come out with an EMV capable card reader sooner or later. Turns out it was sooner. Yesterday in fact. And in doing so, they answered a lot of lingering questions I had. Notably, how do you move from a business model built around distributing m-POS readers for Read the rest of this entry »
  • CrIsis
    posted on July 1, 2014
    In three years there will be a movie released, starring Jonah Hill. It's about an ambitious and successful PR executive for an exciting new electronic payment system called "Ares" that's set to revolutionize the way that people buy things with their phones. The name choice for the brand is made by a small and forceful Read the rest of this entry »

Liberty Street Economics

  • Turnover in Fedwire Funds Has Dropped Considerably since the Crisis, but It's Okay
    posted on August 25, 2014
    Funds Service is a large-value payment system, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, that facilitates more than $3 trillion a day in payments.
  • Historical Echoes: Federal Reserve Clams
    posted on August 22, 2014
    We've already talked about clams being used as money as late as 1933, but some genuine clam shells found during the construction of the New York Fed's building at 33 Liberty Street sparked both geological interest and many witty remarks about "clams" being fossilized under a bank.


  • 2015 Digital Banking Strategic Planning (part 2)
    posted on August 21, 2014
    Continuing on the 2015 strategic planning theme (see part 1: insurance, lifetime transaction archives and subscription fees)....Here are numbers 4, 5 and 6 in my semi-prioritized list of 2015 priorities:_______________________________________4. Small business debt crowdfunding_________________________________________While commercial lending in the United States is...
  • Last Chance for FinovateFall 2014 Early-Bird Tickets!
    posted on August 14, 2014
    FinovateFall 2014 is just six weeks away and the buzz is building. After announcing the impressive roster of presenters a few weeks ago we've seen a substantial surge in ticket sales. Based on that surge, we're now projecting a...

Zoot Blog

  • #Trending: The Latest New Fashion from your Bank (Wearable Technology and Mobile Payments)
    posted on August 27, 2014

    Wearable technology is starting to gain momentum in the consumer electronics industry and as a result other industries (including banking) are starting to look at the impact of wearables on their businesses. Through the use of near field communication (NFC) tattoos, stickers, and wearable accessories like watches, consumers may not have to rely exclusively on … Continue reading →

  • Tapping the Economic Value of Millennials Begins Now
    posted on August 21, 2014

    Nowadays you can’t go anywhere without seeing people focused on electronic devices. From the corner coffee shop to the beach people are texting, taking photos, reading books and even paying bills on their mobile phones and tablets. The use of such devices spans across generations. However, there are some who have never known a life … Continue reading →

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