Slideshow The Best of American Banker 2016: Editors' Picks, Part II

Published
  • December 30 2016, 4:00pm EST
12 Images Total

From Dimon's campaign against earnings guidance to the bottom-line implications of rising rates, here are more of our favorite stories of the year. (See part I here.)

<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/national-regional/dimons-call-to-scrap-guidance-raises-transparency-concerns-1090582-1.html" target="_blank">Dimon's Call to Scrap Guidance Raises Transparency Concerns</a>

"It was an idea that won a surprising amount of consideration this year: scrap earnings guidance. A business group, led by JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, recommended that public companies should not feel obligated to provide guidance, unless they believe doing so is beneficial to shareholders. This thoroughly reported and cogent story by AB staff writers Kristin Broughton and Andy Peters cited sources from all sides of the policy debate, including bankers and transparency experts. The article pointed out the potential merits — including more incentive for executives to think long term and for analysts to sharpen their economic models — but in the end said it will be a tough battle to convince investors that less information is more, especially in sudden crises like the recent energy market crash, and that guidance can minimize stock market volatility."

— Dean Anason, Managing Editor

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<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/no-hollywood-ending-for-women-on-wall-street-1092102-1.html" target="_blank">No Hollywood Ending for Women on Wall Street</a>

"We all know banking is a white male-dominated profession. Moving us to care about the implications is another matter entirely. In this BankThink op-ed, Amy Fox, the screenwriter for 'Equity,' provides a fresh and thoughtful take on bias and glass ceilings that fires up the soul. By detailing the various struggles encountered by the professional women she interviewed for the movie, Fox reminds us there are few happy endings for a flick about women on Wall Street — yet."

— Mary Wisniewski, Deputy Editor, BankThink


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/trumps-plan-to-impound-remittances-is-bad-for-business-1092686-1.html" target="_blank">Trump's Plan to 'Impound' Remittances Is Bad for Business</a>

"While many American Banker readers are excited about the prospect of deregulation in a Trump era, Raul Carrillo's powerful op-ed shines a spotlight on the serious risk of Trump attacking remittances as an anti-immigration strategy — a maneuver that would harm not only immigrants but also regulators and the industry."

— Mary Wisniewski, Deputy Editor, BankThink


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/mobile-security-is-at-stake-in-apple-fbi-case-1079551-1.html" target="_blank">Mobile Security Is at Stake in Apple-FBI Case</a>

"Privacy is a central issue against the backdrop of mobile technology and national security concerns. This BankThink op-ed from February, by Cherian Abraham, looks at the 'principled position' taken by Apple against Department of Justice efforts at decryption in the wake of the San Bernardino attack. 'Since Apple won't easily be intimidated,' Abraham wrote, 'the company can offer a better challenge to the DOJ than others the latter has battled.'"

— Joe Adler, Editor, BankThink

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<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/consumer-finance/the-epic-summer-road-trip-to-loosen-up-a-big-banks-image-1090086-1.html" target="_blank">The Epic Summer Road Trip to Loosen Up a Big Bank's Image</a>

"There's nothing like a good feature to prompt a smile yet make an important point at the same time. This story, by AB staff writer Kristin Broughton, about a 12,000-mile, 39-city bus trek sponsored by U.S. Bancorp did both things. It was fun to read about the social media flurry and home-building activities stemming from the tour by Dixcy Sulistyo, who works in the bank's community development office in California, and Jibreel Black, a former college football lineman, and to learn how Senior V.P. Reba Dominski and her corporate social responsibility team drew inspiration for the idea from high school relay races and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. But most importantly, the unusual undertaking illustrated one of the many ways that banks are putting social issues at the center of marketing campaigns as they keep trying to rehabilitate their images nearly a decade after the financial crisis."

— Dean Anason, Managing Editor


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/national-regional/libors-surge-boosts-profits-at-commercial-lenders-1090787-1.html" target="_blank">Libor's Surge Boosts Profits at Commercial Lenders</a>

"This story by AB staff writer Andy Peters smartly made the connection between seemingly separate items — new money market fund rules and the rates banks charge on commercial loans. It explained why the new rules and other market dynamics were driving up the benchmark Libor rate, and that the phenomenon would make winners of many banks with large portfolios of commercial and industrial loans that carry variable rates tied to Libor and losers of lenders whose loan books primarily carry fixed-rate loans or prime-based, floating-rate loans. Executives at lenders such as Hancock Holding in Gulfport, Miss., 1st Source Bank in South Bend, Ind., and Cadence Bank in Houston clearly explained the bounce they anticipated, and the story said the developments would be a long-term trend."

— Dean Anason, Managing Editor


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/law-regulation/why-arent-exec-heads-rolling-at-wells-fargo-1091219-1.html" target="_blank">Why Aren't Exec Heads Rolling at Wells Fargo?</a>

"Kate Berry took on the question at the back of everyone's minds as the Wells Fargo scandal unfolded this year. A thorough analysis of who might have the authority to remove John Stumpf, Carrie Tolstedt and others from their jobs or hold them accountable in some way — along with strong quotes from knowledgeable sources — made this story a standout."

— Penny Crosman, Editor at Large

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<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/national-regional/how-tough-will-new-yorks-bank-regulator-be-1080889-1.html" target="_blank">How Tough Will New York's Bank Regulator Be?</a>

"The industry was intensely curious this year about who would take the place of so-called 'Sheriff of Wall Street' Benjamin Lawsky as head of the New York Department of Financial Services. Kristin Broughton's substantive piece examined the issues the new superintendent Maria Vullo faces and the infighting between Albany and New York politicians that make her job so tricky."

— Penny Crosman, Editor at Large


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/bank-technology/state-street-tests-a-rosetta-stone-for-bank-databases-1090193-1.html" target="_blank">State Street Tests a 'Rosetta Stone' for Bank Databases</a>

"Standards are important. Consider the USB port, which allows us to connect all manner of devices to other devices and to electrical outlets. Consider electrical outlets, for that matter. Standards allow interoperability, remove economic friction and can even prevent catastrophes. That applies to financial contracts and data — where standards could strengthen analysis and risk management and lubricate transaction processing — as much as to appliances. Unfortunately the kind of coordination that's required to create standards is hard. Editor at Large Penny Crosman interviewed the chief scientist at State Street for this fascinating article that clearly explains why consistent data formatting may be a prerequisite for realizing the dreams of fintech innovators and blockchain disruptors. Also, the article contained the word 'ontology,' which I like to say at cocktail parties to sound erudite."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief


<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/national-regional/our-banking-partners-disapprove-of-what-youre-doing-1092522-1.html" target="_blank">'Our Banking Partners Disapprove of What You're Doing'</a>

"Guns 'n' risk avoidance — not for the squeamish."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief

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<a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/bank-technology/community-banker-leaves-sons-a-tech-legacy-not-legacy-tech-1079232-1.html" target="_blank">Community Banker Leaves Sons a Tech Legacy, Not Legacy Tech</a>

"Core conversions are rare. They're expensive, they're risky, and it's never a 'good time' to do one. This is why so many banks still run on top of decades-old technology, limiting innovation. So why is Bank of Prairie Village in Kansas, with $106 million in assets, replacing its 1980s core? Because the chairman, Dan Bolen, wants to make sure the bank is competitive when his sons inherit it. Now that's long-term thinking."

— Marc Hochstein, Editor in Chief