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 how Apple Pay works (probably): It's all about tokenization
    posted on September 10, 2014
    Forget contactless point-of-payment... that's a solved problem. Apple's use of tokenization is the interesting part [USUAL DISCLAIMER: I have no inside info, these are personal views] I've been using a beta version of ApplePay on my iPhone 4 for some time now... My very old, but very effective, Barclaycard contactless PayTag, stuck to my iPhone 4 […]
  • 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 […]

HR Sagacity

Capital and Prudential Standards Blog

The Financial Brand

The National Bank Examiner

  • posted on September 12, 2014

  • posted on September 2, 2014

Nick Dunbar

  • Through the eyes of a speculator
    posted on September 15, 2014
    Outside of financial crises, mergers and acquisitions are the closest the stock market comes to high drama. Companies in play engage with investors and the public using a well-rehearsed script: Acquirers woo target shareholders while target companies publicise the value of independence. The biggest, most dramatic takeovers can involve antitrust regulators and politicians as well. […]
  • 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 […]


  • Hard money is not a mistake
    posted on September 1, 2014
    Paul Krugman is wondering hard about why fear of inflation so haunts the wealthy and well-off. Like many people on the Keynes-o-monetarist side of the economic punditry, he is puzzled. After all, aren’t “rentiers” — wealthy debt holders — often also equity holders? Why doesn’t their interest in the equity appreciation that might come with […]
  • 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 […]

Tomorrow's Transactions

The D&O Diary

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

  • Let's Talk Token: Authenticating Payments
    posted on September 15, 2014
    It's challenging to have a conversation about EMV cards--cards with chip technology--given their well-documented fraud-mitigating shortcomings, without diving into a conversation on tokenization. And these conversations just intensified with Apple announcing the use of tokenization with its soon-to-be launched mobile...
  • Seeking a Successful Biometric Solution
    posted on September 8, 2014
    As an earlier post noted, advances in technology have spurred the implementation of various biometric authentication methodologies in the consumer market. But as people are discovering, not all methodologies are equally suited for all applications. Those who are implementing such...

Bank Lawyer's Blog

  • MJ Co-Ops: DOA?
    posted on September 14, 2014
    Readers may recall the brilliant idea for "cannabis co-ops," hatched by Colorado legislators who, sunshine on their shoulders, were not only crying at the beauty of the concept, but apparently flying at 30,000 feet on a Rocky Mountain High. And,...
  • Consolidation Does Not Inevitably Lead To De Novos
    posted on September 10, 2014
    ICBA chief Cam Fine recently turned optimistic (paid subscription required) about an eventual uptick in de novo charters. However, he doesn't think that wave will break for a few years. "It may not be as robust as the late '90s,...

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 in Banking: Google Glass
    posted on September 12, 2014
    Not too long ago I was at a client event and had the pleasure of trying on Google Glass for the first time. The presentation used a simulation of how it might work to make a payment using the voice commands of the device. I found the experience to be much less intrusive or distracting […]
  • Braveheart or need a brave heart?
    posted on September 12, 2014
    A somewhat topical post, if mildly parochial, but which serves to highlight something more broadly. On September 18th , a new nation could be born, as Scotland goes to the polls to vote whether it should become independent from the rest of the UK. The debate has raged for months, if not years. The latest […]


  • Digital Wallets
    posted on September 15, 2014
    Interesting op-ed on digital wallets by Edward Castronova and Joshua Fairfield in the NYT. I'm a little more skeptical. Thoughts follow the break. (1) We already live in a world of digital currency. Thanks to fractional reserve banking and electronic...
  • Settling Detroit: Remembering General Unsecured Creditors
    posted on September 12, 2014
    The trial on the City of Detroit's restructuring takes a hiatus while insurer Syncora and others try to finalize a settlement. The deal seems to be a hybrid of enhanced treatment for Syncora's class of claims in Detroit's plan (class...

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

  • 10 Keys to Apple Pay: The Quick and Dirty Analysis
    posted on September 10, 2014
    Overall Analysis: Apple Pay is the most important mobile payment system to be released to date. 1)      Customers of Apple iOS are the most likely to buy with their phones (67% purchase using their phones), they spend 2X as often as a typical smartphone owner and they purchase higher dollar amounts with their phones ($25 […]
  • Yes, I really did just accept an a position on the Consumer Advisory Board of the CFPB! (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
    posted on September 2, 2014
    I just accepted a position on the Consumer Advisory Board of the CFPB. This will require several trips a year to Washington, DC along with several touch-points, and I'm looking forward to getting acquainted with the CFPB's staff and other 24 Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) members. I have a lot to learn! I can't get enough […]

Liberty Street Economics


  • Why Apple Pay Means Nothing (Yet) for (Most) Banks
    posted on September 15, 2014
    I'll admit to being caught up in the hype. The 48 hours after Tim Cook revealed Apple's long-rumored foray into payments were some of the most exciting times in fintech since the 1995 to 1997 period when most of...
  • FinDEVr 2014 Last Chance for Early-Bird Tickets!
    posted on September 11, 2014
    FinDEVr San Francisco 2014 -- our first event ever focused on fintech developers -- is less than three weeks away and we are getting very excited! After months of anticipation, we've announced the full presenter roster and action-packed two-day agenda....

Zoot Blog

  • Learning from Millennials' Favorite Apps: Venmo
    posted on September 12, 2014

    Millennials within the Zoot sales and marketing department have been testing some new mobile apps that are popular among our generation to determine features and functionality that might make or break each product. The intent of this experimentation is to share our experiences and lessons banks can learn from these apps that Millennials reportedly yearn … Continue reading →

  • #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 →

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