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 model to make sense of the proliferation of distributed ledger, smart contract and cryptocurrency projects
    posted on December 19, 2014
    Just when I think I understand the cryptocurrency/block chain space, I realize I didn't understand anything at all Four recent events have made me realize that I don't understand this space anywhere near as well as I thought I did.   But that's good: it means I've been forced to come up with a new mental model […]
  • Identity and The Blockchain: Key Questions We Need to Solve
    posted on December 3, 2014
    What are the architecturally-significant use-cases for identity? Some of the most interesting uses for cryptocurrency technology in finance are securities processing, supply chain finance and derivatives operations.   These are areas where there should be almost total automation but there is, in reality, still large amounts of manual processing, rework, reconciliation, complexity and endless opportunity for […]

HR Sagacity

Capital and Prudential Standards Blog

The Financial Brand

The National Bank Examiner

  • posted on November 18, 2014

  • posted on October 27, 2014

Nick Dunbar

  • House of Debt
    posted on December 18, 2014

    by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi

    (University of Chicago Press 2014)

    The financial crisis that began in 2007 was accompanied by a Great Recession which in Europe may have never really ended. Until now, policymakers have acted on the basis that to bring about recovery in the wider economy meant fixing the troubled banking system and … Continued

  • Lost Lobos Part 2
    posted on December 16, 2014

    When I was in my twenties, I worked on a film being shot on location in the London borough of Newham. The film itself, which starred Jude Law and Sadie Frost, was forgettable, but one memory that stayed with me was the all-pervading smell of refined sugar from the nearby Tate & Lyle factory by … Continued


  • Some thoughts on QE
    posted on November 2, 2014
    “Quantitative Easing” — economics jargon for central banks issuing a fixed quantity of base money to buy some stuff — has been much in the news this week. On Wednesday, US Federal Reserve completed a gradual “taper” of its program to exchange new base money for US government and agency debt. Two days later, the […]
  • Rational regret
    posted on October 28, 2014
    Suppose that you have a career choice to make: There is a “safe bet” available to you, which will yield a discounted lifetime income of $1,000,000. Alternatively, there is a risky bet, which will yield a discounted lifetime income of $100,000,000 with 10% probability, or a $200,000 lifetime income with 90% probability. The expected value […]

Tomorrow's Transactions

The D&O Diary

  • Insolvent Company Directors' Duties to Creditors Under Delaware Law
    posted on December 19, 2014
    A question that frequently recurs is whether or not directors of insolvent companies have fiduciary duties to creditors. Creditors often attempt to argue that as companies move into the "zone of insolvency," directors' duties move from the company's shareholders to the company's creditors. While courts have discredited this theory, creditors nevertheless seek to raise this … Continue Reading
  • Mug Shot Greetings for the Holiday Season
    posted on December 19, 2014
    On several occasions I have published what I thought would be the last of the D&O Diary mug shots, only to find afterwards that still more mug shots were arriving in my email mailbox. That has happened yet again, and this time some of the late arriving mug shots are appropriate to the holiday season. … 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

  • Resolution Protocol: Staying Power?
    posted on November 17, 2014
    The launch of ISDA's Resolution Stay Protocol*, which opened for adherence last week, has inspired a variety of comments in the press. Among them are articles reporting on concerns expressed by some buy-side firms - an important element of our … Continue reading
  • 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

Portals and Rails

  • Under Pressure: The Fate of the Independent ATM Operators
    posted on December 8, 2014
    The ATM industry in the United States is facing many challenges. For one, the interchange rates that networks pay to ATM owners have been halved over the last five years, transaction surcharges are topping off, and operating expenses are escalating....
  • What's Unsettled in Faster Payments?
    posted on November 24, 2014
    When I started at the Federal Reserve Bank 27 years ago, the phrase "faster payments" was rarely spoken. Indeed, if people talking of payments were musing on speed (or the lack thereof), two things were a safe bet: first, the...

Bank Lawyer's Blog

  • De Novo Headwinds Abating?
    posted on December 16, 2014
    The FDIC chose an odd way to announce a purported "thaw" in its long-denied freeze on de novo banks: Q&As. Released late last month, the brief document supplements a 1998 FDIC Policy Statement regarding applications for deposit insurance. It was...
  • Feds To Tribes: Don't Bogart That Roach, Roll Some More
    posted on December 14, 2014
    At the same time that the federal government is trying to drive Native American tribes out of the payday lending business, it is encouraging them to get into the pot business. As long as the file those Cheech & Chong...

The Bankwatch

  • The implications of weak western reaction to online terrorism from North Korea loom large
    posted on December 18, 2014
    Why does threat from N. Korea produce appeasement, while threats from Islamic terrorists produce resilience? My take Freed Zakaria asks a deep question here. For years I and millions of others have observed the development of internet, debated privacy and security. We have generally promoted the openness of internet and the advancement that brings […]
  • Treatment of Derivatives on US bank balance sheets is swept under the table
    posted on December 13, 2014
    SEC. 629. From the unobligated balances available in the Securities and Exchange Commission Reserve Fund established by section 991 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 111- 203), $25,000,000 are rescinded With that (on P615 of the US Omnibus Spending Bill H.R. 83) the single largest concern from the 2007 […]

Celent Banking Blog

  • The Resurgence of NFC
    posted on December 11, 2014
    This is the time of the year when we begin to cast our eye back to 2014 as well as forward to 2015, and reflect on the top trends we are seeing in the market. One of the constants over the last few years in our annual Top Trends in Retail Payments report (coming up […]
  • #EmotiveBanking
    posted on December 7, 2014
    I've just returned from my last conference of the year, the excellent and intimate NetFinance Interactive held in rainy (sic) San Diego. I've been talking about the importance of emotions, feelings and the ineffable in banking for the last two years, and this conference was the first time that this theme has been widespread among […]


  • Catching up
    posted on December 19, 2014
    I've been remiss in cross-posting my Dealb%k columns. Both of the most recent ones have commented on the ABI's chapter 11 reform proposal. You can find them here.
  • Waiting for RUFO
    posted on December 11, 2014
    It looks like much of December will be spent sitting around the RUFO sickbed, waiting for the clause to expire of natural causes on December 31. The clause, recall, prevents Argentina from "voluntarily" giving holdout creditors a better deal than...

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...


  • Brock Thorpe Revisited
    posted on December 15, 2014
    A visit from Brock's new vendor rep tests his patience.
  • Oh, Windows XP, It Seems We Hardly Knew Ye
    posted on December 8, 2014
    Upgrade Windows XP before disaster strikes and those Christmas snaps of Dave and Molly singing "Welcome to the jungle" make it to Facebook and Twitter.

Inside the Underbanked

  • Disrupting Auto Finance
    posted on October 30, 2014
    Last year, I woke up to the sleeping giant of auto finance. Over the last decade, we've witnessed an explosion of startups building software that dramatically cuts inefficiencies in the exchange of information, goods, and services - disrupting industry incumbents in the process. In the last year, Silicon Valley is finally turning its attention to […]
  • My Comments on Underbanked Opportunity on Bloomberg TV
    posted on October 2, 2014
    Bill Gates gave a speech at Sibos today, and for some unexpected reason Bloomberg TV reached out to me to comment on why the unbanked are important.  It turned into a cool 7 minute segment on Core, how our portfolio companies are improving people's lives and how Visionaries, like Amex, are avoiding the traditional missionary and […]

Javelin Strategy & Research

  • The unending identity theft problem: focus must expand from access prevention to consumer empowerment
    posted on December 9, 2014
    The Target data breach is just one in an unending series of privacy exposures that create anger, disbelief and fear. Yet just as sure as it was not the first, it won’t be the last and trying to hold back unauthorized access to private data is akin to trying to hold back the sea. Yes […]
  • Losers and Leaders in Bill Payment
    posted on December 9, 2014
    It has been a newsworthy month in the world of bill payment startups. In a matter of weeks, Zumbox and Manilla announced they would close, and Intuit reportedly is in talks to plunk down $350 million to buy Check, arguably the best personal finance app in the market today. Check serves as an example to […]

Liberty Street Economics


Zoot Blog

  • It's Springtime for Banking
    posted on December 19, 2014

    For the first time in many years, the New Year's prognostications seem to offer a glimmer of hope for banking. After years of struggling to survive the economy and enhanced regulatory tactics, I hear bankers now discussing how they can thrive in our new economy. There are many detailed predictions proffered by numerous industry experts, … Continue reading →

  • Providing Purpose for Bank Customers
    posted on December 4, 2014

    At a recent financial industry conference one of the presenters commented that he's always surprised when people say that the purpose of a business is to make money. While making a profit is necessary, he encouraged the audience to think about their higher purpose--doctors heal patients, architects design structures, bankers provide financial well-being. His point … Continue reading →

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