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 Bitcoin "Sidechains"
    posted on October 26, 2014
    Could sidechains be the enabler of "semi-decentralised" Bitcoin products and services? An important paper was published this week: If you’ve followed Bitcoin for any time, you’ll know this is a seriously eminent group of authors It describes a way to build "pegged sidechains". Sidechains themselves are not new - the idea, and how to build them, has been […]
  • Cryptocurrency products and services will determine adoption of the currency - not the other way round
    posted on October 5, 2014
    The critics of Bitcoin-the-currency are right... but only in the sense that the motor-car was a poor imitation of a horse... I had a light-bulb moment this week. It was triggered by a panel I sat on at Sibos, hosted by the wonderful Adam Shapiro from Promontory Financial Group. My argument to the audience was […]

HR Sagacity

Capital and Prudential Standards Blog

The Financial Brand

The National Bank Examiner

  • posted on October 27, 2014

  • posted on September 12, 2014

Nick Dunbar

  • Niedrigzinsangst
    posted on October 29, 2014

    Why can't the ECB bring itself to stress test banks for deflation? I was thinking about this question when I remembered an episode from the past.

    Just over ten years ago, I took a train from Frankfurt to the sleepy spa town of Wiesbaden. It was the sort of place where a lone taxi is … Continued

  • Lost Lobos
    posted on October 24, 2014

    For as long as most people can remember, UK municipal finance has been safe and boring. In the wild days of the 1980s, Hammersmith & Fulham council almost went bust speculating in derivatives, and was saved by a landmark House of Lords ruling. Since then, UK council borrowing has been tightly constrained by … Continued


  • 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 […]
  • Econometrics, open science, and cryptocurrency
    posted on October 17, 2014
    Mark Thoma wrote the wisest two paragraphs you will read about econometrics and empirical statistical research in general: You are testing a theory you came up with, but the data are uncooperative and say you are wrong. But instead of accepting that, you tell yourself "My theory is right, I just haven't found the right […]

Tomorrow's Transactions

The D&O Diary

  • Another Accounting Scandal-Related Securities Suit
    posted on October 31, 2014
    Earlier this week I wrote about the accounting scandal that has hit the UK-based grocer, Tesco, and the securities class action lawsuit against the company that followed in its wake. Now another company has reported accounting irregularities - and the company involved has also been hit with a securities class action lawsuit.   On October … Continue Reading
  • Three Astonishing Things
    posted on October 30, 2014
    Here at The D&O Diary we read everything so you don't have to. It was in this spirit that we read the article on page C-3 of yesterday's Wall Street Journal that in the print version was entitled "Congo Opening Its Doors to Agribusiness" (here) and that contained the single most astonishing sentence I have … 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

  • ISO 20022 in the United States: What, When, Why, and How?
    posted on October 27, 2014
    At the October 2014 Sibos conference in Boston, there was considerable discussion about the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 20022 standard, which many major non-U.S. financial markets began moving toward a few years ago. ISO 20022 is a public international...
  • Let's Talk Tokens, Part III: What Problem Does Tokenization Solve?
    posted on October 20, 2014
    Portals and Rails recently embarked on a series of posts on tokenization. In the first installment, we defined tokenization and distinguished between a merchant-centric enterprise tokenization solution and payment tokens generated as an issuer-centric end-to-end solution. In the second installment,...

Bank Lawyer's Blog

  • Cheech and Chong Join The FDIC
    posted on October 30, 2014
    There was some rather surprising news this week via the American Banker (paid subscription required) regarding banking: the FDIC is following FinCEN's lead in telling banks in Colorado (and elsewhere) to "smoke 'em if you've got 'em." The Federal Deposit...
  • Redirecting The Potshots
    posted on October 28, 2014
    Jim Nussle, CEO of the Credit Union National Association wrote an opinion piece in The American Banker (paid subscription required) that rang a bell with this bank lawyer. As I've been urging for some time, Jim thinks it would be...

The Bankwatch

Celent Banking Blog

  • The Clearing House and Real-Time Payments
    posted on October 30, 2014
    The game is afoot! The announcement from The Clearing House regarding real-time payments last week came as no surprise - indeed, it felt inevitable. The Federal Reserves' significant work around the topic, and their clear determination that it would happen, seems a clear indication that they wouldn't rest until it was delivered. The question then […]
  • Asian Vendors Looking to Pivot
    posted on October 29, 2014
    I've just returned from a two-week swing through Asia, with stops and roundtables in Tokyo, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney. Along with my colleague Neil Katkov I was fortunate to meet a large number of clients and market participants, both banks and their ecosystem partners, in a series of more than two dozen meetings. In each […]


  • Here Come the Tourists
    posted on October 31, 2014
    This week's Dealb%k is about foreign debtors that file under the US Code, which also just happens to be the subject of a recent paper that my co-author and I have posted online.
  • A Filing Means What It Says
    posted on October 30, 2014
    Almost two weeks ago now, the Delaware Supreme Court handed down its decision over J.P. Morgan's mistaken termination statement in the General Motors bankruptcy. (Note to Google Chrome users like me -- the link may not work; try a different...

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

  • 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 Inevitable ApplePay Blog
    posted on October 21, 2014
    So, the payments unicorn has finally made its way out into the world, with more conjecture and hyperbole than, well, the last time Apple did something. Much has been written thus far about ApplePay and it's going to be hard to write anything truly fresh at this point, but I will try. While the mainstream […]
  • Apple Pay Starts Today October 20, 2014 -So Why Should You Care?
    posted on October 20, 2014
     Why should you care about the Apple Pay launch? Apple iOS users are young: 60% are under age 45 Apple iOS users are wealthy: 7% have investable assets over $1 million Apple iOS users spend more: 25% more per purchase than Android users Apple iOS users spend more often: 2X as often per month as […]

Liberty Street Economics


  • Treating Loan Applicants with Respect
    posted on October 23, 2014
    I've been denied credit twice. The first time I understood, sort of. I was starting my first job and had a little, if any, credit history. But still, it hurt that my Fortune-50-employer's credit union wouldn't give even a...
  • Apple Pay Works (Duh), But it's No Starbucks (Yet)
    posted on October 21, 2014
    Well, that was anticlimactic. But I knew it would be. Between Starbucks mobile, Square Wallet, Google Wallet and my Discover Card contactless sticker affixed to the back, I've made a few hundred in-store purchases with my phone. So smartphone purchase...

Zoot Blog

  • Highlights from the Banking Analytics Symposium 2014
    posted on October 29, 2014

    During the 2014 Banking Analytics Symposium I moderated a panel titled Analytics in a Mobile-First World featuring Jackie Buonassisi, vice president, internet and mobile channel group, U.S. Bank, and Larry McClanahan, vice president, digital delivery, Fifth Third Bank. These bankers provided insight to one of the hottest topics in our industry right now; mobile. There … Continue reading →

  • Using Analytics to Improve Self-Service
    posted on October 28, 2014

    Financial institutions (FIs) are keenly aware that customer interactions through self-service channels such as ATMs, online, and mobile cost less than person-to-person interactions in the branch or call center. Applying analytic models gives FIs insight to consumer behavior and what drives them to a particular channel. The outcome is the ability to provide a better … Continue reading →

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