Slideshow Best of BankThink 2014: Editors' Choice

  • December 24 2014, 11:30am EST

American Banker editors recap 10 of the blog's posts they found most thought-provoking and memorable in 2014.

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<a href="" target="_blank">Why the Local Food Movement Is Good for Community Banking</a>

By Lamont Black, assistant professor of finance at the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago

"I'm always interested in arguments about how broader cultural trends may impact the financial industry. In this piece, finance professor Lamont Black points out that the same concern with quality and community that is driving the locavore movement could easily be applied to community banks. As farmer's markets and microbreweries continue to gain in popularity, it stands to reason that more Americans will also start seeking out local lenders." — Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

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<a href="" target="_blank">Low-Tech Means High-Risk in Banking</a>

By Clifford Rossi, Professor-of-the-Practice at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and a Principal in Chesapeake Risk Advisors LLC

"As the legendary banker, the late Citicorp chairman Walter Wriston, once said, 'A bank is just a giant information system. It always was.' Unfortunately, the systems running today date back to Wriston's time if not earlier. Rossi shows how that's not only squandering business opportunities but also creating systemic and reputational hazards."

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<a href="" target="_blank">Too Big to Serve the Working Class</a>

By Lisa Servon, professor of urban policy and management at The New School

"Payday lenders, check cashers and other businesses in the alternative financial services industry receive a lot of criticism for charging high interest rates and fees, thereby keeping borrowers mired in a cycle of debt. Lisa Servon's article highlights an often-overlooked point: many Americans frequent these businesses because they feel that banks are failing to provide them with the services they need. Servon's fine narrative skills are on display as she pieces together interviews with a range of consumers and industry experts to argue that the country's largest financial institutions need to do more to serve low- and moderate-income Americans." — Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

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<a href="" target="_blank">Accounting for Turbulence in the Value of Deposits</a>

By Bill Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting

"Cash on hand is not the same thing as cash in the bank. That realization is a red pill." — Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

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<a href="" target="_blank">Why Volcker Rule Compliance Is a Fool's Errand</a>

By Mayra Rodríguez Valladares, managing principal at MRV Associates

"Mayra Rodríguez Valladares' eight-part series on the Volcker Rule taught me more than I ever thought possible about the difficulties that banks and regulators will face in implementing the landmark regulation. In this introduction to the series, Valladares clearly and concisely outlines her reasons for believing that the complex proprietary trading rule will be nearly impossible to carry out in time for the 2015 deadline. Looks like she was right: recently, regulators pushed the deadline for compliance with a key aspect of the rule back to 2017." — Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

Image: Bloomberg News

<a href="" target="_blank">Prepare for Customers to Push Back on Privacy</a>

By Stuart Lacey, founder and chief executive of Trunomi

"A useful counterpoint to the Rossi post mentioned earlier: If banks ever get as good as Silicon Valley's big brands at mining insights from data, they'll hopefully be better at respecting customers' privacy than some of those companies that treat their users as the product." — Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

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<a href="" target="_blank">Conflict of Interest at Root of Fed Oversight Woes</a>

By Mitchell Berns, financial services litigator with Fox Rothschild LLP

"The New York Fed took a lot of heat in 2014 as the release of secret recordings made by former examiner Carmen Segarra cast doubt on the agency's ability to effectively oversee Wall Street banks. Mitchell Berns caught my attention with a distinctive argument. He says that conflict of interest is built into the very structure of the Fed, which is tasked with balancing the frequently-clashing roles of enforcer and regulator." — Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

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<a href="" target="_blank">Financial Regulators Should Listen to Bill Gates on Mobile Money</a>

By Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

"People in the financial inclusion and compliance fields have been saying for years that overly stringent identification requirements unnecessarily restrict access, but it was big that an icon like Gates said it at a forum like Sibos. Two words: Risk-based." — Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief, American Banker

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<a href="" target="_blank">Big Banks Headed Straight for Another Bailout</a>

By J.V. Rizzi, banking industry consultant and investor

"J.V. Rizzi answers the question of whether the government has succeeded in solving the too big to fail problem with a resounding no. I admired his admittedly bleak outlook for the way it methodically outlines a number of solutions that could help reduce the risk that megabanks pose to the financial system — only to explain why each measure is unlikely to come to pass." — Sarah Todd, Deputy Editor, BankThink

Image: Bloomberg News