It may not be ranked on the New York Times best seller list, but "The Electronic Commerce Report," authored by Bill Burnham and recently published by Piper Jaffray, is a crucial read for all bankers searching for a smart, to-the-point overview of how the virtual world is shaping up-and what electronic commerce (EC) means to their respective financial institutions' business strategies going forward.

Few reports in the past five years have impressed me with the level of detail that Burnham's undertaking has; fewer still are so on the money that they're worth reading cover to cover. The Piper Jaffray report is both, and the world of EC and its current and potential players is mapped out so thoroughly that you'll be scanning the pages to see if your own institution's blueprint for EC success is represented (At first, you'll be amazed at the insider's look that Burnham brings to the report, but will quickly realize it is one of the work's many charms.).

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